Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland’s Daniel Friend (18) heads the ball away from Plattsburgh’s Ryan Miller (6) in the second half Saturday at Jets Field.
SUNY Cortland men were certainly ready for this soccer challenge.
With nationally-ranked Plattsburgh in town for a crucial contest of conference contenders, the Red Dragons got goals from four different players to secure a convincing 4-0 victory at Jets Field on Saturday.
Coach Steve Axtell’s squad is now 3-1 in the SUNY Athletic Conference and 8-2 overall. The Cardinals, ranked 18th in Division III heading into the weekend, is 2-1 in the conference and 9-2 overall.
Junior goalie Connor Young made five saves in recording his third consecutive shutout for the Red Dragons, as both teams fired off 13 shots in the game.
Cortland opened the scoring when Bronson Harris struck in the 41st minute. The junior won a 50-50 ball against opposing goal Andrew LaClaustra at the top of the box and headed a shot into the empty goal.
Freshman Derek Beers made it a 2-0 game in the 49th minute, taking a pass from senior Tyler Kirschner and sending a shot off LaClaustra’s hands and inside the right post.
The Red Dragons added two more second half goals after a Plattsburgh player was sent off with a red card in the 73rd minute.
Senior Daniel Friend scored in the 75th minute, putting a shot off the right post and in from the left side of the box, and junior Kevin Carpenter finished the scoring with a shot inside the left post from the right side of the 18 in the 85th minute.
Cortland will have two more crucial home contests coming up this week, Fredonia visiting Friday at 3 p.m. and Buffalo State taking on the Red Dragons Saturday at 1 p.m.