Back In Stride
Lady Cards break scoreless streak; have SUNYAC showdown at home
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 20:09
It took a while, but it finally happened.
The Plattsburgh State women’s soccer team broke out of its four-game scoreless drought with a 3-0 victory over Potsdam last weekend to open conference play.
Following four straight 1-0 losses, the team was in big need of a goal. While PSUC (5-4, 1-0) started slowly, things picked up after Macee Maddock broke the ice, lobbing a shot over the goalie off a pass from Olivia Hopeck. The goal came with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, and PSUC head coach Karen Waterbury noticed an improvement in the way the team played following that goal.
“The first goal allowed us to take a deep breath,” Waterbury said. “I think in the second half it was more one-sided in terms of the scoring chances.”
The offense for the Cardinals took control after halftime, following up a seven-shot first half with 13 shots in the second half to outshoot their opponents 20-5 on the day. Forward Kristie Pageau said the first goal helped ease the minds of the players and allowed them to settle in and just play soccer.
“I was just so much more confident,” Pageau said. “We were having fun out there, and it was clear when we were playing.”
A trend that continued for the team last Saturday was the offensive production up and down the roster. The three goals for the Lady Cardinals were scored by Maddock, Marcelle Schepisi and Taylor Florio, with each player earning their first goal of the season and bringing the total number of players who have scored a goal to 13. Waterbury said having this dynamic on offense will prevent the opposition from keying in on one player, making it more of a threat to score.
“Hopefully we can continue to be dangerous,” Waterbury said. “If we continue to really put pressure on the opposing goaltenders, good things will happen.”
Pageau also has been encouraged by how everyone on offense gets involved in scoring goals, no matter what their role is on the team.
“It shows how regardless of the situation that anybody can come through,” Pageau said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a freshman, it doesn’t matter if it’s a person who doesn’t play 90 minutes every game. They’re still capable of getting the job done.”
Monica D’Ippolito, who started in goal and made two saves, did not have a lot of pressure during the game. Despite a quieter game in net, she and Danielle Schmitt have limited their opponents in the number of goals allowed each game.
Waterbury said the decision of who starts in goal is a game-time decision, giving the job to whoever she thinks is playing better at the time based on practices and past games. She also said each goalie has different strengths, which she Waterbury said she would like to combine them at times.
While the goalies play a big role in preventing the opposition from scoring, the defense has probably been the biggest reason for the team’s overall success this season. Through the first nine games, PSUC has surrendered multiple goals in a game only once, and they won that game. Hopeck has been pleased with the way her team has been able to limit the damage each game and not let the opposition put too many points up on the scoreboard.
“We obviously don’t want anyone to score on us,” Hopeck said. “If we can keep it 1-0, it’s not a huge defeat for us. It’s just something to learn from, and we take it to practice and work on it.”
The team has two more home games this weekend before they go on the road, taking on Cortland (5-2-2, 2-0) Friday and Oswego (3-4-0, 0-1) Saturday. Though the conference games could be tough, Pageau is excited about the idea of finishing the home-stand strong.
“If we win both these games, that puts us in a really good position,” Pageau said. “I’m hoping it can give us the confidence and give us the boost we need to power through the rest of SUNYACs.”