After falling just short in the SUNYAC finals last year, the Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team has jumped out to a strong start in a season that head coach Tania Armellino hopes will have a happier ending.
“You don’t want to miss a beat,” Armellino said. “You want to make that championship; you want to win the SUNYACs, and I love it because this group is ready to do that.”
The Cardinals downed two out-of-conference opponents over the weekend, beating Castleton 4-2 Friday and Colby-Sawyer 2-0 Saturday.
“This weekend was just fantastic to see how they start to play together,” Armellino said. “We had some goals scored by some freshmen, and Katie Matott, a returner, had three goals on the weekend as a junior, so it’s exciting.”
With 12 freshmen players on the roster, PSUC will need continued help from veteran players like Matott and graduate student goalkeeper Taylor Adams, who won both of her starts.
Armellino is confident that that won’t be a problem.
“I think that’s where they’re all excited and ready to embrace their roles,” Armellino said. “They’ve worked so hard, each of them, to develop their own game, and as a team they still want to achieve great things.”
The freshmen haven’t exactly been quiet to start the season, though.
Freshman forward/midfielders Allison Seidman and Kirsten Villemaire, came up big on the scoresheet, with Seidman notching two goals and two assists on the weekend, and Villemaire earning a goal and an assist.
“To get two results like that on the road, it’s very exciting,” Armellino said. “That’s why you do those back-to-backs. You know you’re going to see back-to-backs in conference.”
Armellino focused on creating a competitive pre-conference schedule. Castleton was last year’s North Atlantic Conference champion, while Colby-Sawyer made that conference’s semifinals.
“I didn’t want to find teams we were just going to kill 8-0 or 10-0,” Armellino said. “You’re trying to find teams that can really prepare you and give you good competition because the SUNYACs are extremely competitive from top to bottom.”
The Cards’ home-opener will take place at the Field House Soccer/Lacrosse Complex against a likely frustrated 0-2 Union College team that is coming off of a double-overtime loss.
Armellino expects a strong game out of PSUC’s frequent non-conference opponents.
“They play a very similar style,” Armellino said. “It’s possession-oriented, it’s built from the back. They take long-range shots, they like to hit balls from 20 or 25 yards out, and we traditionally have a very good battle with them every year.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org