By JOHN CORYER
---- — PLATTSBURGH — With five starters sitting on the bench with injuries, it couldn’t have worked out any better for the Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team Friday.
The Cardinals (12-1, 3-1) erupted for four first-half goals and then substituted freely in the second half in a 4-0 victory over New Paltz in SUNY Athletic Conference play at the Field House Soccer Complex.
“We had to make quite a few line-up changes and we had a lot of players who stepped up today,” said Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury. “It seemed like I had the Midas touch today because anybody I put in gave us good minutes. That’s a credit to our players — it was a good team win.
“I knew we could win the game, but I was pleasantly surprised.”
And with Oneonta in town for a big 1 p.m. game today, Waterbury was able to rest his starters. The Red Dragons (7-3-1, 4-1) had to work harder for their win on Friday in a 1-0 victory at Potsdam.
“No question, it worked out well for us,” said Waterbury. “We rotated some starters in and out in the second half for leadership and continuity.
“With it being so precarious in the SUNYAC standings, any win you can get is a good one. And with using so many players today, it gave our players some confidence and me confidence in them.”
Two former area high school standouts, Matt Hamilton from AuSable Valley and Ethan Votraw from Plattsburgh High, accounted for the first three Plattsburgh goals, with Hamilton getting two of them.
Hamilton gave the Cardinals the lead with a free kick from just outside the penalty area with 7:32 gone in the first half.
It stayed that way until the 30:24 mark. Votraw was inserted into the game and it didn’t take him long to get on the board when he headed Steve Zacharczyk’s long throw-in into the net.
“We created a lot of good scoring chances right from the start,” said Waterbury. “Their goalie (Steven Domino) came up with some outstanding saves.
“I was thinking, ‘Come on, let’s get that second goal’. Thank goodness, we were finally able to do so.”
Two minutes after Votraw scored, Hamilton, who now has seven goals on the season, was able to get the ball in a flurry in front of the New Paltz net and scored on a deflection for his second goal of the game. Carlo Coladonato assisted on the marker, which came at 32:14.
Zacharcyzk, one of many Cardinals who played well, then got into the act at 36:12 when he headed in Nick Pourakis’ free kick.
The Cardinals recorded a 16-9 advantage in shots, including an 11-2 advantage in the first half. Three Plattsburgh netminders combined for three saves and the shutout. Domino turned aside six shots for the Hawks (5-6-1, 1-4-0).
Plattsburgh 4, New Paltz 0
New Paltz 0 0 — 0
Plattsburgh 4 0 — 4
First half- 1, PSU, Hamilton, 7:32. 2, PSU, Votraw (Zacharczyk), 30:24. 3, PSU, Hamilton (Coladonato), 32:14. 4, PSU, Zacharczyk (N. Pourakis), 36:12.
Shots: Plattsburgh 16, New Paltz 9.
Saves: Kruizenga (1), Toper (2), Jordon (0), PSU, 3. Domino, NP, 6.