By JOHN CORYER
---- — 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).
“Hamilton, at center midfield, is an absolute key for us,” Waterbury said. “We’re pretty deep up top with Aratari, (Tom) Greene and Parrella.”
Also in the mix will be returner Steve Zacharczyk.
“Hamilton and Zacharczyk had one year of eligibility left, and they’re great examples of shear leadership.”
At midfield, Fabian Chaparro was having a strong season a year ago before going down with an injury. He scored five goals in 16 games and will team up with returning players Ethan Votraw and Shaq Jackson-Lee at midfield.
Clay Sherman is a returner who has been converted into a center back.
“I like the team; it’s a good group that compliments each other well and are on the same page,” Waterbury said. “We will be a high-velocity, pressure team. We can’t allow free services in the box because of our lack of size.”
Waterbury expects a number of newcomers to make an immediate impact.
“There’s good competition on the team, and we’re excited about the journey we’re about to go on,” he said. “I think some of the new guys will come in and help out right away. It depends how quickly they adjust from high school to college soccer.”
“We brought in about a dozen freshmen,” Waterbury added. “Nick Economou is the brother of Nate Economou, who is injured right now. Nick will play center back. Alexis Archilla is an absolutely fantastic striker, and Ryan Miller is a midfielder who shows good promise.
“We have three goalkeepers in returners Mitchell Jordon and John Toper, and they will be joined by Matt Bonomini, a transfer from Dowling College. We’re very excited with where we are in net.”
Friday, Aug. 30- Potsdam Collegiate Village Cup, vs. Rutgers-Newark, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 31- Potsdam Collegiate Village Cup, vs. Lyndon State, 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 4- Norwich University, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 7- Bard College, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 11- at Castleton State College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 14- at Union College, 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 18- at Clarkson University, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 21- Skidmore College, 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 24- at Utica College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28- Potsdam State, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 4- Oswego State, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5- Cortland State, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 11- at Oneonta State, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 12- at New Paltz State, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 18- Buffalo State, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 19- Fredonia State, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 25- at The College at Brockport, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 26- at Geneseo State, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 30- at St. Lawrence University, 3 p.m.
MEN'S 2013 ROSTER
Number, Athlete, Height, Weight, Class/Position, Hometown/High School
0- John Toper, 6-2, 190, sophomore goalkeeper, Amsterdam/Amsterdam
1- Matt Bonomini, 6-1, 165, junior goalkeeper, Holbrook/Sachem East
2- Tom Greene, 5-8, 155, senior forward, Schenectady/South Colonie
3- Clay Sherman, 5-11, 170, sophomore defender, Willsboro/Willsboro
5- Matt Hamilton, 5-10, 155, senior midfielder, Keeseville/AuSable Valley
6- Joseph Aratari, 5-6, 156, senior forward, Rochester/Irondequoit
7- Ethan Votraw, 6-1, 184, sophomore midfielder, Plattsburgh/Plattsburgh
8- Shaq Jackson-Lee, 5-9, 155, sophomore defender, Mamaroneck/Mamaroneck
9- Brendan Egan, 5-10, 159, freshman defender, East Northport/Northport
10- Fabian Chapparo, 5-6, 140, sophomore midfielder, Mamaroneck/Mamaroneck
11- Sean Murphy, 5-7, 150, junior defender, Oneonta/Oneonta
12- Nick Economou, 5-11, 170, freshman defender, Vestal/Vestal
13- Alexis Archilla, 5-10, 170, freshman forward, Warwick/Warwick Valley
14- Nick Parrella, 5-9, 175, junior forward, Miller Place/Miller Place
15- Wade Goehle, 5-11, 153, junior defender, Miller Place/Miller Place
17- Nate Economou, 5-9, 178, junior midfielder, Vestal/Vestal
18- Ryan Miller, 5-9, 147, freshman midfielder, Hopewell Junction/Arlington
19- Steve Zacharczyk, 6-2, 220, senior forward, Highland Mills/Monroe-Woodbury
20- Nelson Vetter, 5-8, 165, sophomore midfielder, East Northport/Commack
22- Chris Bowden, 5-7, 154, freshman forward, Commack/Commack
23- Luke VanDixhorn, 6-1, 167, freshman forward, Fort Edward/South Glens Falls
24- C.J. Pourakis, 5-4, 160, sophomore defender, Stormville/John Jay
25- Erik Gaster, 6-3, 190, freshman defender, Beacon/Beacon
26- Jonathan Gamboa, 5-6, 141, freshman midfielder, Mamaroneck/Mamaroneck
27- Ian Cutting, 5-9, 160, freshman defender, Glenville/Niskayuna
28- Joe Repicky, 5-6, 140, freshman midfielder, Rexford/Niskayuna
30- Mitchell Jordon, 6-2, 200, sophomore goalkeeper, Bolton Landing/Bolton
32- Colin Iliano, 5-10, 175, freshman defender, Poughquag/Arlington
Head coach: Chris Waterbury Assistant: Geoff Spear