Thursday, October 1, 2020

North Country rival Bears shut out Cards 3-0

The Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team saw its losing skid reach four games Saturday when it lost 3-0 to the Potsdam Bears at home.

The Cardinals were shut out in the second annual POTS Awareness match, making them 0-3 in conference play.

A first half that saw the Bears score three goals while PSUC took just over 20 minutes to get a shot on goal sunk the Cards early.

“When we did win the ball, we’d give it right back to them,” head coach Tania Armellino said. “No quality clearances, we were giving them a thousand throw-ins. We played scared, and we played right into their strengths. Potsdam’s a great finishing team.”

The team was more or less on the same page as its coach.

“We were frantic,” junior midfielder Rachael Moran. “We know how to play as a team, but we just weren’t connecting together.”

Potsdam outshot PSUC 9-8 in the half. Graduate student goalie Taylor Adams stopped several quality scoring chances to keep the Cards in the game.

“She could easily put her head down and feel like, ‘Oh, my team is letting the shots get on,’ but she’s not doing that,” Armellino said. “She’s staying in it to win it; she’s still trying to help us stay in these games, and I was really proud of her today.”

When halftime rolled around, PSUC stayed on the field while Armellino spoke to the team.

“We worked on our defensive shape this week, so when it was terrible in the first half, it was disappointing,” Armellino said. “We worked on it hard. Keeping our feet on the one versus ones, and then keeping our shape as a unit. We just didn’t. So halftime was like, ‘Can we stop doing that; can we go back to the gameplan?’”

The Cards managed to get on track during the second half with a few high quality chances of their own, including a crossbar shot from freshman forward/midfielder Kirsten Villemaire, but it wasn’t enough as they were shut out for the second game in a row.

“We just have to learn how to connect our defense to our offense,” Moran said. “We leave too much of a gap. I think, in the second half, we really [fixed that].”

The game also benefited POTS awareness.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a circulatory disorder that PSUC women’s soccer alumna Cait Gagen suffers from, causes most of your blood to stay lower in your body when you stand up, causing the heart to work in excess to get blood to the brain according to WebMD. This was the second year in a row that the team has raised money in her name.

“People don’t understand how much she had to work to be as successful as she was,” Armellino said. “To bring awareness and to let people know about this illness, and to have her show everyone how she battles through it is just inspiring.”

T-shirts and raffle tickets were sold at Saturday’s game, and a post-game tailgate was held at the Plattsburgh Buffalo Wild Wings where 10 percent of everyone’s bill who says they are with the women’s soccer team would go toward the total raised as well.

The money raised will go to Dysautonomia International, a “non-profit group dedicated to assisting people living with various forms of dysautonomia,” of which POTS is one. The team raised over $1,400 last year.

Next up, the Cards will face Clarkson University in non-conference play at 7 p.m. Monday.

The team will be looking to correct issues and turn things around before the following weekend of SUNYAC play.

“It’s going to be about finding our heart and finding the back of the net,” Armellino said. “We have to do better in terms of being consistent.”

Email Ben Watson at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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