By Riley Peru, Staff Writer
On Wednesday, October 18th our Oneonta Men’s soccer team took on the Plattsburgh State Cardinals at Red Dragon Field. It was partly sunny with a high of fifty-five degrees, making it perfect weather for a soccer match. Once the whistle blew Oneonta maintained possession of the ball thanks to their strong offense. It was a constant battle between the two teams, remaining scoreless for the majority of the half. It wasn’t until a foul in the 33rd minute that Oneonta conceded a goal from a free kick scored by Plattsburgh defender Brian Coughlan. The Red Dragons didn’t let the goal get them down for long. Ten minutes went by when a foul was drawn from inside the opposing penalty box, resulting in a penalty kick in the 43rd minute. Senior captain John Bernardi stepped in, effortlessly scoring the penalty kick. The Oneonta sidelines roared with excitement. The teams continued to play for the remaining couple of minutes until the whistle blew to conclude the half.
During halftime the Oneonta State Dance team gave a solid and entertaining performance, getting a loud round of applause from the stands. Captains Mikayla Lettich, Rory McFerran, and Carley Leto led the team as they danced to a mashup of hit songs from artists such as Ice Spice, Nicki Minaj, and Drake. Their performance consisted of tricks and smiles that lit up the field and gave the crowd the morale boost they needed to continue the game. Overall a great performance leading to a heavily anticipated second half. With a few minutes remaining during halftime, the players took the field again ready to continue the game against a fierce competitor.
The score was 1-1 going into the second half. Both teams battled hard, but the Red Dragons were in hot pursuit. With an early red card, the Cardinals had to play with a man down the remainder of the half giving the Red Dragons an advantage. Most of the second half was within the Cardinal’s defensive third. Sophomore forwards Milton Mancias Magana and Ali Somow were especially dynamic on and off the ball, while defenders Jonathan Shank and Adrian Matute contributed to a strong defense. Key aspects of the game to note would be the communication between players and the constant movement of the ball. With the Cardinals being a man down they still put up an admirable fight. Midfielders Modou Badjie and John Hayes created opportunities with their speed, while goalkeeper Teddy Healy had a total of three saves during the match. The Cardinals and the Red Dragons continued to go neck and neck for the entire ninety minutes of play. In the end, the score remained 1-1, this result clinching the Red Dragons a spot in the playoffs. The number 15 ranked Red Dragons will go on to play the Buffalo State Bengals at the Red Dragon field at 1 p.m. for their senior day on October 21st. This will be their last home game for the regular season. With this result, their record is now 12-2-1.