The Plattsburgh State lacrosse team will look to rebound from a tough loss on the road against nationally ranked Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Wednesday 14-5. The Cardinals will be kicking off their SUNYAC schedule this weekend.
Sitting at 5-3 overall, the Cards have yet to play a conference game thus far. However, they have been able to play against competitive nonconference teams that have helped them prepare for upcoming SUNYAC opponents.
“As a team, we look at it as two seasons in one,” senior defensive midfielder Collin Cunningham said. “SUNYACs is all that matters for us right now. It was a tough loss at RPI, but our motto is to get stronger every day.”
PSUC is traveling to Oswego to gear up for its first SUNYAC game of the season, against the Lakers. This will be the second of five straight games on the road for the Cards.
“It’s a tough trip, but we really want to start SUNYACs hot this year,” Cunningham said. “We want to send a message to the rest of the conference to let them know that we are here to stay and that we mean business. If we start off strong, I think the momentum can really carry us through.”
It will be a quick turnaround for PSUC. The Cards will be back on the road just after a midweek road match Wednesday with RPI in Troy. Now, with only one full day to recover and one full day of travel, PSUC will either be tired or refreshed against Oswego, but head coach Joe May thinks the latter.
“It’s nice having another game a couple days after you lay a stinker,” May said about the team’s position following its third loss of the season. “It left a bad taste in our mouths. I wish it was Saturday today. When you lose a game like we lost Wednesday, you just want another crack at it right away.”
The Cards hosted Oswego in the final game of the regular season last year and picked up a 10-4 victory. This time around, PSUC will be looking to start its SUNYAC
regular season the same way it ended last year, with a victory against its familiar foe.
“You need to play not with fear, but with respect for your opponent,” May said. “We certainly respect Oswego, but we don’t fear them. Our guys are going to be extremely motivated to get back on track this weekend.”
The 11 seniors on this year’s roster know traveling to Oswego isn’t necessarily a short one. However, it gives the team another opportunity early in the season to form an even stronger bond to help them get through its time spent away from home.
“It gets to be a real grind at this point in the season,” senior defensive midfielder Matt Howard said. “We’re at the point in the season where we are physically ready, but now it comes down to mentality and executing what we need to do.”
Although it may be an away game for the Cards, it is very much a home game for Howard, who grew up in the town of Oswego.
PSUC has yet to pick up a victory on the road this season, losing both matches so far. After Wednesday’s loss, the Cards are even hungrier for their first road win of the season, especially with it being a conference battle as well.
“We have a lot of talent, we just need to make sure that we’re over prepared,” Howard said. “Saturday is the start of a new season for us. We’re really focused on taking our next step and making a statement to the rest of the SUNYACs.”
PSUC squares off against the Lakers 1 p.m. Saturday in Oswego.
“Not on our team, but on outside teams, people tend to point fingers. We’re all about pointing the thumb, and seeing what we can do to make ourselves better,” Cunningham said. “We’re excited to get back at it Saturday.”
Email Ezra Kachaturian at firstname.lastname@example.org