After securing an action-packed playoff victory against Brockport at home last Saturday, the Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team traveled to Buffalo State Wednesday afternoon, looking to capture a win in the SUNYAC semifinals.

Despite a great effort, the Cardinals (12-6-2, 5-3-1 SUNYAC) were unable to secure another playoff win and fell to the Bengals 4-1.

During the first half, PSUC and Buffalo State battled for possession early. Both teams came onto the field ready to battle, but in the 10th minute, the Bengals scored first.

Buffalo State grabbed a 1-0 lead after a throw-in landed in front of PSUC’s net, which the Bengals shot across the Card’s goal line.

Later in the half, a foul was called against PSUC, which resulted in a penalty kick for the Bengals who were able to convert on their opportunity and extend their lead.

In the second half, Buffalo State scored two additional goals, and seized momentum of the match, but before the final whistle blew, the Cards made sure to get a goal.

After sophomore midfielder Madeline Saccocio hit the crossbar with five minutes remaining, PSUC retained possession. One minute later, junior forward Anissa Hartmann carried the ball up the field and crossed it to senior midfielder Kelly Siry who shot the ball into Buffalo State’s net and tallied the Card’s lone goal.

PSUC head coach Tania Armellino stressed she was proud that her team played until the end and said the Cards couldn’t establish the possession they wanted to during the game and utilize their technical abilities.

“We just couldn’t keep the ball on the ground comfortably, and Buffalo worked hard to not let us settle, so that’s what really got us,” Armellino said. “We just couldn’t connect as much as we would have liked to and are used to, and it just ended up being one of those days.”

PSUC ended the season with their best record since 2010, and the coaching staff is proud of all the Card’s accomplishments.

“I think a lot of people stepped up this season, and for us as coaches, we all knew they had the potential,” assistant coach Frantzy Noze said. “Our girls have had each other’s back all season, which is probably the greatest thing a coach could ask for.”

As the Card’s loss to Buffalo State marks the end of their season, the defeat will certainly hurt, but the camaraderie this team developed as the season progressed is something that’s indestructible and every player appreciates.

“Being part of this team is definitely something you can’t put into words,” junior midfielder Ashlie Guinness said. “It’s more like a family than anything else. All of us enjoy spending time with each other, and everyone loves each other. It’s just been a great family atmosphere.”

All season long, the Cards have stressed how close they have been to each other and acknowledged their chemistry on and off the pitch created their success.

“I think the team chemistry has been huge all season,” senior defender Hannah Saccocio said. “We have come together as a program, and I think every girl on this team has put forth something and really made this program shine.”

Saccocio said all the seniors, who include herself, Devin McMahon, Christen Averill, Cassidy Clavet, Melissa Rodriguez, Madeleine Rattray, Mercedes Kendall and Kelly Siry, have seen PSUC’s soccer program improve more than any of them expected and have all enjoyed being Cardinals.

“We have gotten to see both sides of it, and it’s crazy because from my freshman and sophomore year to my junior and senior year, it’s a completely different team,” Saccocio said. “I think everyone’s love for soccer blossomed these past two years.”

Armellino said this season’s team was special, and also noted it was the hardest-working and closest squad she has seen.

“I am just lucky and blessed to have had the chance to coach such an amazing group,” Armellino said. “It’s been amazingly fun, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we did this season. I wouldn’t have done it with any other group.”

Email Joey LaFranca at joseph.lafranca@cardinalpointsonline.com

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