CORTLAND — An amazing run through the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament has ended in a championship for the Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team.
The fourth-seeded Cardinals recorded three one-goal victories in the event, capped off by Saturday’s 2-1 win over second-seeded Cortland.
Tom Greene’s goal midway through the second half broke a 1-all tie and put Plattsburgh into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
“No question, this was just a fantastic team effort,” Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury said. “I’m just incredibly proud of our team. Credit goes to our guys.
“We defended hard and played with a lot of character (Saturday). We got a tremendous amount of leadership, collectively as a team. We have a young team and it has been a journey for us.”
Plattsburgh (15-5-1) took a 1-0 lead into the second half.
But, Cortland (11-7-1) tied it off a nice individual effort by Dillon Johnson with 6:19 gone in the second half. Johnson got control of the ball in the left corner, beat a defender to the right, cut across the top of the box and beat another defender before scoring inside the left post.
“It was similar to our first goal,” Waterbury said. “We stood their player up, but (keeper) Mitchell (Jordon) struggled with his footing some. The ground was a little bit soft.”
Just over 15 minutes later, with 21:58 gone, Joe Aratari carried the ball down the right side and fed a cross into the box where Greene one-touched the ball into the open side of the net.
“It was a great goal,” Waterbury said. “We put together a number of passes. Nate Economou got the ball on the flank to Aratari, who made a nice cross in front to Greene.
“There was a good build-up before scoring the goal and that’s something we have been working on all season. It was nice to see.”