PLATTSBURGH – Katie Matott's lone goal in the first half gave the Plattsburgh State women's soccer team a 1-0 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in a non-conference matchup Saturday.
Allison Seidman provided Matott with the opportunity to head the ball into the net with a cross from the right at the 20:38 mark of the first half.
“Allison got the ball, ran it down the flank and then she crossed it,” Matott said. “I just tried to head it somewhere toward the goal, and luckily, it went in.”
Matott's first goal of the season was met with excitement from her teammates, as the Cardinals (3-0-0), during their Adrenal Cancer Awareness Match, fought to keep their 1-0 lead over the Engineers (1-1-1).
“We all connected so much more than we usually do. Getting it from the back to the front was definitely a lot better, and our communication skills were just a lot better than last game, too,” Seidman said.
The first half for the Cardinals was all about settling into the mindset of the game and finding their rhythm.
“There were some things when we first started where it was a little dicey, and I think it was just not understanding that we don't have to chase the ball to settle in, but to read the ball defensively,” Plattsburgh State coach Tania Armellino said.
“Once we started doing that, I think really good things were happening.”
The Cardinals had to continuously provide communication among their defense for the game to go over smoothly.
Plattsburgh finished with a 16-9 shot advantage and limited Rensselaer to just two shots in the second half.
The Cardinals managed eight shots on target, while the Engineers failed to put a shot on net.
“It was definitely our best game of the season so far,” Matott said. “I think we just came out with a lot of energy, and we just connected in ways that we've been working with in practice, and it just worked out well.”
Rensselaer matched the Plattsburgh’s energy throughout the game, as it pressured the Cardinals’ defense trying to find an equalizer.
“RPI is a super good team, and they're very technical, so it's great to also be able to weather the storm because they're gonna push forward, they're gonna be quick and they're gonna play those through balls,” Armellino said.
“They battle in the air very well, so we focused on that going into this game and how important it was to win the ball out of the air and to get it on the ground and play the way we want to play.”
Plattsburgh was able to hold the Engineers at bay defensively but couldn’t find the back of the net for some insurance.
Julia Ennis notched the shutout in net for the Cardinals, having a quiet evening that included no saves, as Plattsburgh’s defense stood tall.
Armellino complimented her squad’s defensive attack and the leadership from senior captain and midfielder Rachael Moran
“It was nice to hold on to (the lead) because you're working for that second or third goal, but if it doesn't come, you're not giving one up either,” Armellino said. “We talked about some defensive things and holding the line, and that was nice to get some offside calls just by our defense being a little bit more organized.”
The Cardinals return to play Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. when they host Middlebury.
As Plattsburgh moves forward in the season, Armellino wants to continue to see her defense thrive and create opportunities offensively.
“I really was just proud of their work rate and consistency and keeping that ball out of the back of the net but still finding those opportunities to go forward,” Armellino said.
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