Saturday, May 25, 2024

Team challenges coaches

The Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team embarked on its first lengthy road trip of the season as the team traveled west to take on SUNY Cortland and Oswego State knowing both opponents would be challenging to defeat.

The Cardinals (7-3-1, 2-1-0 SUNYAC) were able to split the weekend by beating Cortland 1-0 before falling to Oswego 2-1.

In PSUC’s matchup against Cortland, neither the Cards nor the Red Dragons could find the back of the net in the first half. In the following half, Cortland came out storming and nearly scored in the 47 minute but hit the crossbar. The game remained scoreless for most of the half and looked to be headed to overtime.

In the 87 minute, however, PSUC forward Anissa Hartmann collected her third game-winner of the season. Card’s midfielder Ashlie Guinness picked up the assist on Hartmann’s goal, and freshman goalkeeper Nichole Gibson tallied her fifth shutout as the team won its seventh game of the season.

Following the victory against Cortland, PSUC looked to keep rolling against Oswego and managed to capture an early lead. Card’s midfielder Cait Gagen scored four minutes into the match when she connected with her midfield counterpart Madeline Saccocio. Later in the first half, however, Oswego was able to push across two goals and kept the Cards off the scoreboard for the rest of the game.

While PSUC was disappointed to lose, the team has won six of its last seven games. Head coach Tania Armellino said the Card’s team chemistry and desire to be the best is fueling the team right now.

“Our chemistry is fantastic,” Armellino said. “We have a good time, and I am huge on that. If we are on the soccer field and not enjoying ourselves, we are missing the point.”

Armellino said her player’s work ethic during practice has been a major factor to the team’s success. Throughout the season, PSUC has focused on possessing the ball, organizing defensively, switching the field, taking more shots and creating attacking runs off the ball. The Cards have applied what they work on in practice to games well, which makes Armellino happy.

“When you see what you have worked on in practice translate to games, it’s really fantastic,” she said. “I think it’s every coach’s dream, and we have seen plenty of success this season.”

Every day in practice, the Card’s coaching staff sees skilled players inclined to learn and wanting to battle with each other to improve as a whole. PSUC assistant coach Frantzy Noze said the coaching staff always wants to help the players improve, and the team’s mindset makes this easier to achieve.

“For us, I think they challenge us as coaches because this group has a lot of talent,” Noze said. “To be honest, they do push me as a coach, and I think we are lucky to have the group we do.”

The Cards will look to apply what they have been practicing when they return home this weekend to play New Paltz Friday at 3 p.m. and Oneonta Saturday at 1 p.m. and try to maintain their perfect home record.

PSUC wants to play well in front of their home fans, and the Cards are looking to generate some momentum on their pitch.

“Since this is our first SUNYAC weekend at home, I think it’s going to be a great morale boost because we haven’t lost at home yet,” senior midfielder Cassidy Clavet said. “The support of our family and friends being there and playing on our home turf, where we play every day and fight for each other, will help us.

While PSUC will be aiming to secure two SUNYAC wins this weekend, they know it will not be easy and expect hard-fought matches in both contests.

“This weekend is going to be a battle, and I think we can come out with two wins,” senior defender Madeleine Rattray said. “I’m confident in our team, and we plan to come out hard and defend our home turf. I expect us to battle to the very end like we have in every game because it’s not going to come easy.”

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