PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men’s soccer team has been looking for a true goal scorer all season.
Alexis Archilla stepped up Saturday afternoon.
The freshman forward scored both goals in the Cardinals’ 2-1 win over Buffalo State in the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals held at the Field House Soccer Complex.
The win sends fourth-seeded Plattsburgh (13-5-1) into the semifinals at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday at top-seeded Oneonta (11-3-4, 7-0-2). Plattsburgh dropped a 2-1 overtime decision at Oneonta during the regular season.
“It’s one and done and we get to play another game,” Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury said.
Once again, the Cardinals held the edge in play with a 23-7 advantage in shots, including a 15-3 edge in the second half. Plattsburgh also had a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
But the game was tied, at 1-all, until Archilla tallied the game-winning goal with 7:27 left in regulation.
Nelson Vetter assisted on the play, which was the end result of a corner kick that eventually found its way to Archilla, who was in the center at the top of the box. Archilla drilled a shot inside the post to the left of Buffalo State keeper Michael Moraitis.
“I was a little disappointed because I thought we could have been more dangerous,” Waterbury said. “But Buffalo State is a much-improved team and they were playing good soccer at the end of the season.”
The Cardinals held an 8-4 edge in shots in the first half, but neither team was able to get on the board.
It stayed scoreless until Archilla tallied his first goal of the game, with 20:24 gone in the second half.
The ball was sent in the Buffalo State end and Nick Parrella slipped it to Archilla, who was making a run on the right. Archilla was able to beat Moraitis with a low shot to the far corner of the net.
“We had two good finishes,” Waterbury said.
It, however, didn’t take the Bengals (9-9-1) long to respond.
Buffalo State was awarded a free kick outside the box to the side and Plattsburgh keeper Mitchell Jordon made a nice save on the initial shot. But the deflection went to Matthew Wong, who scored to tie it from in close a mere 46 seconds after Plattsburgh scored.
“That’s the third time this season our keeper has made the initial save, only to have our opponent score,” Waterbury said.
“But we didn’t let down after that.”
The Cardinals responded well and carried the play the rest of the way, with the ball in the Buffalo State end a vast majority of the time.
“We did some real good things (Saturday),” Waterbury said. “But we were just a little off at times offensively. Buffalo State also did a good job blocking shots.”
Jordon made two saves for the Cardinals and was sound. Moraitis finished with eight stops for the Bengals, who dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Cardinals during the regular season in Plattsburgh.
“Our back four played hard and our keeper made the plays when he had to,” Waterbury said.
In the other SUNYAC Tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday, third-seeded The College of Brockport recorded a 4-1 victory over sixth-seeded Potsdam State.
Former Chazy Central School standout Brandon Laurin tallied the lone goal for the Bears, which came with 12 minutes left.
The Golden Eagles (11-1-5, 5-1-3) will be at second-seeded Cortland (10-6-1, 6-2-1) in Wednesday’s other semifinal.
Plattsburgh 2, Buffalo State 1
Buffalo State 0 1 — 1
Plattsburgh 0 2 — 2
Second half- 1, PSU, Archilla (Parrella), 20:24. 2, BS, Wong (Linderman), 21:10. 3, PSU, Archilla (Vetter), 37:33.
Shots: Plattsburgh 23, Buffalo State 7.
Saves: Moraitis, BS, 8. Jordon, PSU, 2.