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November 6, 2013

Cardinal men meet Oneonta in SUNYAC semis

PLATTSBURGH — Two years ago, the Oneonta State men’s soccer team was a 4-2 winner at home over Plattsburgh State in the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals.

And last season, the Red Dragons knocked off the Cardinals, 2-1, in Plattsburgh in the tournament championship game.

The fourth-seeded Cardinals will look to avoid another loss to the Red Dragons in today’s 1:30 p.m. semifinals at top-seeded Oneonta.

“To be honest, I don’t think about the two losses to Oneonta the past two years,” Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury said. “I think of Oneonta as a rival, like anyone else we play in the conference.

“The way I feel about it is that they’re in our way. I think, with the way the conference is set up this season, anyone can beat anyone on a given day.”

Oneonta (11-3-4, 7-0-2) went unbeaten in conference regular season play, including a 2-1 overtime home win over Plattsburgh on October 11.

“The first time we played them, was played pretty well and I was pretty happy with the effort,” Waterbury said. “It was a mid-season game and we were in a little bit of an injury stretch.

“Between the Oneonta and New Paltz games that weekend, we were dropping like flies and struggling in some ways. We were dead at the end of the Oneonta game.”

In that game, Tom Greene gave the Cardinals (13-5-1, 6-3) the lead in the first half.

But Dylan Williams then tied it for the Red Dragons with 12:19 left in regulation and Zef Saljanin’s goal with just three seconds remaining in the second overtime sent Plattsburgh to a very disappointing loss.

“Oneonta is quick and technical and they play real good soccer,” Waterbury said. “They’ve got an awful lot of weapons and can score in different ways. They have some real big guys in the box and some smaller quick ones.”

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