Friday, January 22, 2021

PSUC clinches playoff spot, eliminates Buffalo

The Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team came away from last weekend’s SUNYAC action with a win, a tie and a playoff spot after two double overtime matches.
Now all that is left to be done is jockeying for seeding position.

The Cardinals beat last year’s SUNYAC champions Buffalo State Friday in a 3-2 double overtime win.

For the team, that win held a little extra importance.

“It felt so good to beat them,” said Michelle Nowak, junior defender. “They’ve ended our season the last two years so, to be able to beat them, especially in overtime, was really cool.”

The game saw some of the season’s familiar faces tally on the scoreboard with senior forward Sarah Haight opening the scoring, sophomore midfielder Rachel Moran notching PSUC’s second goal and senior midfielder Madeline Saccocio playing the double overtime hero to score her 14th goal of the season on a breakaway.

The Cards clinched their playoff spot in the SUNYAC tournament with the win, while also eliminating Buffalo from contention. They now have a 5-0-2 conference record.
PSUC’s Saturday game against Fredonia featured considerably less scoring.

Despite the Cards outshooting the Blue Devils 39-9 over 110 minutes of play, the match ended in a 0-0 tie.

Head coach Tania Armellino admitted that fatigue may have played a factor, but would not accept that as an excuse.

“With the double OT the day before we felt the fatigue,” Armellino said. “I was really glad that we created the chances, but we need to be able to finish some of them when they come around.”
The frustration was felt on the players’ end as well.

“We were so close so many times,” Nowak said. “Credit to their keeper, she had a great game.”

Armellino was glad to see her team respond positively to some high pressure situations, specifically in the Buffalo game, with games only getting more important as the season marches on.
“In OT, anybody can shoot to end the game, anybody can score at any moment,” Armellino said. “It was good to see them find a way and stay focused on what our goals are.”

PSUC now only has three games left in their season before the SUNYAC tournament. Two of them will be conference match-ups this weekend against Brockport today, before playing Geneseo Saturday.

Brockport enters today’s match still looking to clinch playoff spot with a 3-3-1 conference record on the season.

Geneseo, like the Cards, has already clinched its playoff spot, and is the only team currently ahead of PSUC in the standings. The Knights currently sit at a 6-1 conference record.
The Cards are currently on an eight-game unbeaten streak. For senior forward Kelsey Gage, the streak is nice, but the team is still taking it one game at a time.

“There’s confidence there from that, but we just have to keep focusing on playing our game,” Gage said.

The focus now switches to this weekend’s conference matches, which will determine the final seeding of the SUNYAC tournament.

Armellino was keeping the focus on the one-game-at-a-time mentality before today’s match against a Golden Eagles team that needs a win.

“We always take these games one at a time, so right now our focus is Brockport,” Armellino said. “They’re coming in in 6th place, so we know they’re going to be desperate for the ‘W’, so we have to get our job done and get after them.”

Email Ben Watson at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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