PLATTSBURGH — Precious seconds were ticking away on the Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team Saturday.
The Cardinals needed a win over The College at Brockport to clinch the SUNY Athletic Conference regular season title and the Golden Eagles, needing only a tie to finish in first place, were just 2:04 away from escaping the Field House Soccer Complex with a 1-all overtime deadlock and the crown.
But Matt Hamilton’s goal late in the second extra
session lifted the Cardinals (16-2, 7-2) to a dramatic and hard-fought 2-1 victory, giving Plattsburgh the top seed throughout the SUNYAC Tournament.
The game, which was delayed a half hour in the first overtime because of thunder and lightning, was a good one to win and a tough one to lose.
“I told the guys that this was as close to a playoff game as you can get,” said Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury. “I really liked the way we played — we did some really good things.
“Sometimes as hard as you play, it’s still not enough to score. Brockport was playing hard, too.”
Hamilton’s game-winning goal came with 7:56 gone in the second extra session and it was the end result of a corner kick.
“Basically, after the ball was kicked in, Fabian (Chaparro) won the head ball and flicked it off one of their players,” said Hamilton. “It came to me and I one-timed it off their goalie and into the net. It was a nutty goal in a crazy game like this.
“I can’t take full credit for the goal because I wasn’t the first to it. Credit goes to Fabian for being there first and I was lucky to be there.”
There was certainly a sense of urgency for the Cardinals.
“We had to press a little harder but we didn’t panic,” said Hamilton. “We always want to play the same way because that’s our best chance to score. It gets frustrating at times but we were able to get it done.”