By JOHN CORYER Press-Republican
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Up until Saturday, the Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team had overcome not being at the top of its game at times.
But that changed in a 2-0 nonconference loss to Skidmore at the Plattsburgh State Field House Soccer Complex.
The loss dropped the Cardinals (5-1-1) from the unbeaten ranks.
“We’ve been able to dodge bullets in some other games,” Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury said. “But we can’t keep dodging them for an extended amount of time. (Saturday), we paid the price.
“I never felt we were playing up to our capabilities (Saturday), and something is missing for us right now. For sure, it’s frustrating.”
Plattsburgh held a 15-5 shot advantage and an 8-2 margin in corner kicks. But it was Skidmore (4-3-1) that made the most of its chances.
“We’re struggling to finish right now,” Waterbury said.
The Thoroughbreds took the lead for good when Adam Beek’s free kick from straight on just beyond the box found the net at 6:20 of the first half.
Skidmore then added an insurance goal with 14:12 gone in the second half when Adebare Oyeniyi headed in Beek’s corner kick.
The Cardinals had their chances to get back into the game but sent very few shots on net, as they went either high or wide.
“It’s about doing the little things that help you win,” Waterbury said. “Not doing those little things will help you lose. It’s about positioning your hips and being in the right place that results in you putting the ball into the corner of the net and not having a near-miss.
“We had the wind in the first half, but I felt we would play better against the wind. Every time we played a ball through with the wind, it went out of bounds. We looked better in the second half because we were able to keep the ball in play.”
Danny Ebenstein recorded the shutout in the Skidmore nets with five saves, and John Toper made two stops for the Cardinals.
“Things got bad for us because we took their bait, hook, line and sinker,” Waterbury said. “We got taken out of our game and were not able to dictate the tempo of the game. This is the first time where I felt we showed our youth.
“We had some guys who played well, but it wasn’t sustained. Our balance was off today. No question, Skidmore did a good job defending, and give them credit. But we kept trying to go through them instead of around them. Once we got the ball to the flanks, we were more dangerous.”
The Cardinals return to action on Tuesday night with a 7 p.m. nonconference contest at Utica.
Skidmore 2, Plattsburgh State 0
Skidmore 1 1 — 2
Plattsburgh State 0 0 — 0
First half- 1, Skid, Beek, 6:20.
Second half- 2, Skid, Oyeniyi (Beek), 14:12.
Shots: Plattsburgh State 15, Skidmore College 5.
Saves: Ebenstein, Skid, 5. Toper, PSU, 2.