PLATTSBURGH — Last season, the Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team took advantage of its quickness.
Expect more of the same in 2013.
“I’m happy with the returning group and this pre-season has been incredibly competitive,” head coach Chris Waterbury said. “The characteristics of last year’s team were quickness, technique and good skills. The team is even quicker this year, and we’re extremely fast.
“We’re not a big team even though we are bigger than last year. We have good team tenacity, and we will get at it.”
Plattsburgh State opens its season today with a 4:30 p.m. contest against Rutgers-Newark in the Potsdam Collegiate Village Cup.
The Cardinals finished with a 17-3-1 overall record a season ago, including a 7-2 mark in SUNY Athletic Conference play.
Plattsburgh, which outscored its opponents by a 57-20 margin, lost out on an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament when it dropped a 2-1 home decision to Oneonta in the SUNYAC Tournament title game. The Cardinals did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA playoffs.
“It didn’t feel like we achieved our goals last season,” Waterbury said. “We had a good year, no question, record-wise.
“But we didn’t have a very good strength of schedule due to a number of reasons and, ultimately, I’m the one who makes the schedule.”
The Cardinals lost 11 seniors from last year’s squad and got hit the hardest in net and on defense.
“We lost three of our four backs and the first two defenders off the bench,” Waterbury said. “We also lost two goalkeepers. However, we’re pretty solid up top and in the midfield.”
Wade Goehle is the only player returning with good experience in the back, and he will be a key.
The Cardinals do bring back four of last year’s leading scorers in Matt Hamilton (10-1-21), Nick Parrella (8-5-21), Steve Zacharczyk (6-2-14) and Joe Aratari (3-7-13).