Friday, June 14, 2024

Seidman, Villemaire pace Cards

For the first time all season, the Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team has a positive conference record.

With wins against SUNY Oneonta (6-8, 3-5) and SUNY New Paltz (2-12-1, 1-6-1) last weekend, the Cardinals (10-5, 4-3) have now moved to a 4-3 record in conference.

Friday’s 2-1 win in Oneonta was a close affair, with PSUC narrowly outshooting the Red Dragons 13-12.

Goals from a pair of freshman forward/midfielders brought the Cards the win, with Kirsten Villemaire scoring four minutes into the game with an assist from Allison Seidman before Seidman scored her own tally in the 63rd minute.

“It was really nice to see, in the second half, that we came out on the front foot, and that was when Allison was able to get that second goal,” head coach Tania Armellino said. “Taylor [Adams] made some key saves late, so it was nice to preserve the 2-1 lead and get the win.”

The freshmen continued their point streak against New Paltz, with Villemaire scoring again, and Seidman notching another assist. This time, junior forward Katie Matott and sophomore midfielder Abigail Seamans each joined in with a goal of their own, with all three of the team’s goals coming in the second half.

“We came out in the first half and had the run of play and had the shots, but I think we were a little frantic, feeling like, ‘Oh, we didn’t score yet,’” Armellino said. “Second half, I think we just settled down a bit, and we pressed into their half and got the three goals.”

The further gelling of PSUC’s top offensive unit has been one of the main goals all season, and Armellino couldn’t be happier to see her players clicking.

“It’s what we’ve hoped for from day one, so it’s so fun to see them believe in each other and start to connect and combine, because they can be so darn effective,” Armellino said. “They’re settling into that rhythm, and they also want to be successful together, and that’s the best you can ask for as a coach.”

And it’s something that the players are enjoying too.

“We’re connecting really well,” Seidman said. “You can tell that when Kirsten and I are up there together, the give and gos are so good. When I play Matott, she can hold it and lead me to the ball. We’ve been working very well together.”

Graduate student goalie Taylor Adams once again had a two-win weekend, bringing her total on the season to 10, with six being shutouts.

“When Taylor has that confidence and owns the box, she is just a force to be reckoned with,” Armellino said. “In both games, she came up with absolutely key saves.”

Her efforts earned her her second SUNYAC Defensive Athlete of the Week honor of the season.

But when asked about her weekend accomplishments, Adams was quick to deflect to the team effort that helped bring them.

“We’ve worked really hard, and we’re finally clicking together as a team,” Adams said. ‘The back four is getting used to playing with me, and we had complete control of the two games. There wasn’t any doubt, in my mind, that we were going to win them.”

Up next, the Cards will finish up their conference play against SUNY Fredonia (7-8-1, 3-3-1) Friday and Buffalo State (4-9-2, 3-4-0) Saturday.

With much uncertainty still in the SUNYAC playoff race, getting points from both games will be of paramount importance. With two wins, PSUC could climb as far as second place — a position which would award a bye into the semifinals — but two losses could see the team fall as far as eighth place. That would not be enough to qualify for playoffs.

“Once you start a season 0 and 3, every game counts and every game is vital,” Armellino said. “We’ve been climbing our way out, so when we look at this weekend, it’s no different.”

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