Hot Cards take streak into SUNYAC play
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 20:09
The Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team will get its first taste of conference play when it squares off against Potsdam on Saturday.
PSUC (8-0-0) will look to continue its impressive play when it hits the field at 1 p.m. in Potsdam (2-5-0). Team members are ready to begin SUNYAC play, and they know the game hits another level when playing against conference opponents.
“It’s a little bit more physical, very fast paced,” PSUC midfielder Matt Hamilton said.
Although Potsdam has only two wins this year, Hamilton said that when it comes to conference games, nothing is ever a sure thing.
“Anything can happen on any given day,” he said. “All that matters is who decides to show up and play.”
PSUC head coach Chris Waterbury reiterated that fact and said he believes that whichever team can control the game on Saturday will probably be the winner.
“The key is, can we dictate the flow of the game? If we can, I think we’ll be successful,” Waterbury said. “If Potsdam can dictate the flow of the game, then I think they’re going to be successful.”
Potsdam head coach Adam Parker admitted that his team has struggled so far because of its youth, with 15 freshmen and nine sophomores on the 33-man roster. However, the Bears are looking at the start of SUNYAC play as a clean slate.
“We’re kind of taking this like a new season almost,” Parker said. “(We’re) just trying to learn from our mistakes of what we’ve done but know that we’re starting a little bit on a clean sheet here.”
Parker, who is in his third season as head coach at Potsdam, led the Bears to a SUNYAC playoff appearance last year for only the second time in program history. Despite a losing record (7-9-3), the Bears were able to achieve a winning record in conference play (4-3-2).
The Cards and Bears faced each other twice last season, once in the regular season and once in the first round of the 2011 SUNYAC tournament. Neither team was able to come out on top in the first game, as they tied 0-0 after double overtime. However, in the playoffs PSUC was able to defeat Potsdam in blowout fashion, 4-0.
Parker knows that his team will still have all it can handle when it faces off against the Cards this time around.
“Really, we’ve just got to be able to compete with Plattsburgh,” he said. “They’re playing very well at the moment, and they’re much more experienced than us.”
PSUC midfielder Mike Payne is someone who is used to facing Potsdam, and he knows what to expect from the Bears.
“In the past, Potsdam has been hard to score against because they tend to just pack it in,” Payne said. “They’ll do anything they can just to get out of there with a tie.”
Although PSUC has gotten off to a hot start this season and have had success against Potsdam in the past, Waterbury knows not to take any opponent lightly.
“Every single team in the conference is equal right now,” he said. “Everything that we’ve done up until now doesn’t matter. The only game that matters is the next one in conference.”