Men's soccer takes down 18th ranked Plattsburgh Cardinals

On Nov. 6, 2004, the Geneseo men's soccer team defeated Plattsburgh 1-0 to win the first SUNYAC championship in the program's history. It would be nearly four years before Geneseo defeated the Cardinals again, but they did it in scintillating fashion.

Last Friday, the Knights traveled to Plattsburgh and dramatically upset the 18th ranked Cardinals on a direct kick from Joe Mort in the game's waning minutes. The victory snapped Plattsburgh's 34 home game winning streak, during which the Cardinals had outscored visiting opponents 105-6.

None of that seemed to faze the Knights, who fought through a steady rain and a physical Plattsburgh onslaught to stun the Cardinals. Plattsburgh appeared to seize the momentum in the 51st minute, scoring on a header from Pat Shaughnessy to take a 1-0 lead. The Knights responded eight minutes later, however, as junior Jason Tartick tied the game on a feed from senior Joe Walter.

Neither team was able to break through again until the 84th minute, when junior forward Joey Mort threaded a direct kick just inside the far post for his third goal of the season. Geneseo held on for the final six minutes to preserve the upset.

The loss came as a shock to a Plattsburgh program which has been nationally ranked at some point in each of the past 16 seasons. "I can't remember ever beating them [in Plattsburgh] since I've been here," said coach Mike Mooney, who has been coaching soccer at Geneseo for 23 years.

Mooney also acknowledged that the victory was hard-earned, saying, "The first 15 minutes of the match, I was thinking, 'Geez, we've just got to hold on here.' I mean they were just banging into us. They were pretty physical. As the game wore on, it became even more physical on their part."

The Knights had no time to rest on the laurels or bruises acquired during the Plattsburgh win, as they traveled to Potsdam for Saturday's contest. Luckily for the men, Potsdam proved to be a less formidable foe than the Cardinals, providing a mundane 6-1 victory.

Senior Judah Manetta helped set the tone early, finding junior Sean Bardenett on a corner kick in the fifth minute for Bardenett's first career goal. Manetta added a goal of his own less than three minutes later, and the Knights never looked back.

With the weekend sweep, Geneseo improves to 5-3-0 overall and 3-0-0 in SUNYAC play. The Knights return to action this weekend, hosting New Paltz and Oneonta on Friday and Saturday, respectively.