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November 17, 2013

Wheaton upends Cardinals in NCAA Div. III Tournament

CANTON — The postseason run for a young Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team ended as the Cardinals suffered a 2-0 loss to Wheaton in the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament at St. Lawrence University Saturday.

Wheaton got off to a hot start in the opening minutes of the game before Travis Blair gave his team a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute. Blair scored an unassisted goal from the top of the box, putting a hard shot past Plattsburgh goalkeeper Mitchell Jordan for his 17th goal of the season.

“To be truthful, the game was pretty fragmented to start,” Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury said. “The energy level was through the roof for both teams. The pace was so high that is was really hard to function. That early goal didn’t rattle us, but we showed some immaturity by trying to desperately get one back.”

Jordan, however, made five impressive first-half saves to keep the Cardinals in the game.

“At halftime, it was anybody’s game,” Waterbury said. “The final product (Saturday) just wasn’t there. We did so many things well, but just never really connected in the final third.”

The Cardinals began to generate some offense in the latter part of the opening half. One of their best chances came in the 17th minute when Ethan Votraw hit a hard shot from outside of the box that skipped just wide of the net.

The two teams exchanged possessions in the second half, with a lot of play in the middle portion of the field. Wheaton had a good chance to add to its lead when Kevin Gil hit a hard shot on net from the corner of the box.

Jordan, however, made a reflex kick save to deflect the shot out of bounds.

“Mitch did a good job and had a good game,” Waterbury said. “You look at the 2-0 loss, but when times were desperate, he did a good job making key saves when we had to. He kept them at bay.

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