By JOHN CORYER
---- — PLATTSBURGH — It wasn’t just another win for the Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team Saturday.
Tom Greene’s second goal of the game, with 1:24 gone in the second overtime, lifted the Cardinals to a 3-2 decision over Oneonta in SUNY Athletic Conference play at the Field House Soccer Complex.
The dramatic victory, coming on the heels of Friday’s 4-0 victory over New Paltz, improved the Cardinals to 13-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference. The Red Dragons, who defeated Plattsburgh in last year’s SUNYAC Tournament semifinals, dropped to 7-4-1 overall and 4-2 in the conference.
“No question, this was our biggest win of the year so far,” said Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury. “It was for a lot of reasons. We learned a lot about our team this weekend. We had unexpected people contribute and we were resilient.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better effort from the entire team. Everyone worked hard at practice this weekend and pushed one another. Everybody gets credit.”
The win was huge as far as the conference standings go. Cortland leads in points with a 4-1-1 record, while Brockport and Plattsburgh stand at 4-1. The Cardinals, however, have a game in hand over the Red Dragons.
“If we lose today, we have a 3-2 record,” said Waterbury. “We’re now 4-1 and that’s quite a separation.”
Oneonta had Plattsburgh on its heels for the majority of the second half and scored the only goal in the stanza to force overtime.
But with 1:24 gone in the second extra session, Nick Parrella found Greene, who turned and drilled a shot into the far corner.
“Our adrenalin slowed down in the second half and our youth on the field started to show a little more,” said Waterbury. “We panicked a little, had trouble getting out of our own end and lost our shape. We couldn’t get a hold on the game.
“But we showed good survival instincts when we were being put under. As the second half went on, we started to get our grip on the game back and were more dangerous in the overtime.”
The Cardinals grabbed a 2-1 lead going into the half.
Parrella gave Plattsburgh the lead at 5:34 of the first half when he got possession of a loose ball in front to score.
“Yesterday was such a productive game for us and we came out today and got an early first goal,” said Waterbury. “We worked hard and had our chances for a second one.”
Oneonta, however, tied it at the 12:02 mark when Jeff Christian drilled a hard shot from straight on into the net from 20 yards out.
But back came Plattsburgh at 24:53. The ball was sent in front of the Oneonta net where Parrella headed it to Greene, who was positioned on the side. Greene found the back of the net to make it 2-1.
Plattsburgh held a 6-2 advantage in shots in the first half, only to have Oneonta battle back for a 10-4 edge in the second stanza.
The Red Dragons tied it with 16:44 gone when Christian scored his second goal of the contest with a shot to the corner.
Zack Kruizenga was credited with one save for the Cardinals, while Colan Balkwell (2) and Daniel DeBottis (4) combined for six stops for the Red Dragons.
“We put Zack in a tough situation and he was solid today,” said Waterbury. “He was a good calming influence. He’s worked hard for four years and I’m happy for him.”
Kruizenga was filling in for regular keeper Andy Heighington, who is one of five starters out with injuries.
The Cardinals head on the road this coming weekend to play their final SUNYAC games away from home. Plattsburgh has a 4 p.m. contest at Fredonia on Friday and a 1 p.m. encounter with Buffalo State on Saturday.
Plattsburgh 3, Oneonta 2 (OT)
Oneonta 1 1 0 0 — 2
Plattsburgh 2 0 0 1 — 3
First half- 1, PSU, Parrella (Aratari), 5:34. 2, One, Christian, 12:02. 3, PSU, Greene (Parrella), 24:53.
Second half- 4, One, Christian (Josepher), 16:44.
Second overtime- 5, PSU, Greene (Parrella), 1:24.
Shots: Oneonta 12, Plattsburgh 12.
Saves: Balkwell (2), DeBottis (4), One, 6. Kruizenga, PSU, 1.