By JOHN CORYER Press-Republican
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Despite getting a scare the day before against Buffalo State, it turned out to be a big weekend at home for the Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team.
The Cardinals, following up on Friday’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Bengals, recorded a 2-0 blanking of Fredonia on Saturday in SUNY Athletic Conference action at the Field House Soccer Complex.
The two weekend wins puts Plattsburgh (11-3-1, 5-2) alone in third place in the SUNYAC standings, trailing Oneonta and Cortland.
The Cardinals close out their conference regular season with road games at The College of Brockport on Friday and Geneseo on Saturday.
Two wins this coming weekend would clinch second place for the Cardinals.
“On paper, this was a phenomenal weekend for us,” Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury said. “When you can get two wins on a weekend in conference play, it’s as good as it gets.
“I would have liked to have seen us play a little better at times. But the result in a game is what matters the most.”
Plattsburgh took a 1-0 first-half lead against the Blue Devils (4-10-1, 1-5-1) when Matt Hamilton bent a free kick from just outside the box into the corner of the net at the 40:31 mark.
“Hamilton’s goal late in the first half gave us a huge boost,” Waterbury said. “Matt’s a gamer and he worked hard — like he always does. He had a great weekend.”
The Cardinals made it 2-0 with 7:57 gone in the second half when Tom Greene’s corner kick resulted in a goal by Alexis Archilla.
“Alexis has been working hard, but struggling to finish of late,” Waterbury said. “It was nice to see him get a goal that gave us some breathing room.”
The Cardinals did a better job with the lead on Saturday than they did on Friday against Buffalo State.
“I felt we were seeing the game out a lot better than we did the day before,” Waterbury said. “It was a good team effort and we put some guys in different places.
“The wind was a little bit of a factor. Fredonia was very direct and we struggled with that because they are much bigger than we are. It was hard for us to dictate the flow of the game.”
Plattsburgh held an 18-12 shot advantage and John Toper made three saves in net to record the shutout. His best save came in the late going when he deflected a Fredonia header from in close over the crossbar.
“John did a good job,” Waterbury said. “He was safe and sure.”
A.J. Grecco made 10 stops in the Blue Devils’ nets.
Seniors Joe Aratari, Steve Zacharczyk, Greene and Hamilton played their final home regular season games for the Cardinals.
“We didn’t know is Joe was going to be able to play today, but he gave us some good minutes,” Waterbury said.
“It was nice to have Nick Economou and Clay Sherman finally together in the back for us. They are both big and strong and that makes a difference.
“We’re a little banged up right now, but we’ll be ready for the weekend ahead.”
Plattsburgh State 2, Fredonia State 0
Fredonia 0 0 — 0
Plattsburgh State 1 1 — 2
First half- 1, PSU, Hamilton, 40:31.
Second half- 2, PSU, Archilla (Greene), 7:57.
Shots: Plattsburgh State 18, Fredonia State 12.
Saves: Grecco, Fred, 10. Toper, PSU, 3.