By Collin Bolebruch
The Cardinals lacrosse teams continued their seasons last week, dropping three total conference matchups. After strong starts to both seasons, the Cardinals have hit rough patches in conference play. Both head into the most decisive games of their seasons on losing streaks, vying for a playoff berth.
Men’s lacrosse (2-9, SUNYAC 0-3) hosted the Geneseo Knights (9-3, SUNYAC 3-0) in another conference test, losing 11-21. The game was the Cards’ first home conference game of the season. The Cardinals have lost nine straight games after starting 2-0 and are yet to win a conference game this season.
Midfielders Owen Lorenzetti and Michael Swift had three goals each, followed by attacker Mike Walsh with two and attacker John Eiseman, midfielder Donald Woods and defender Kyle Ruland with one apiece. Eiseman and midfielder Logan Vilardi both added two assists.
Defender and season-leader Julian Pigliavento had five ground balls and Dan Clements started in the net. Clements remained on the field for 60 minutes, saving 20 of 41 shots sent toward the net.
Plattsburgh didn’t hold a lead all game, but it put together scoring stretches in the fourth quarter it was proud of.
“We didn’t give up at all today,” Walsh said. “We kept pushing, kept fighting the whole game.”
The Cardinals have played at home five times this season and are still searching for its first home win.
“It’s a different energy. We love playing here,” Lorenzetti said. “The family, the boys from the school, all your friends get to come out. It’s just a great atmosphere.”
Men’s lacrosse’s season continues April 15 in Oneonta to take on the Oneonta Red Dragons (6-3, SUNYAC 2-1).
“I told the guys, ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ At the end of the day, we’ve got some tough dudes in that locker room,” Head Coach Darry Thornton said. “In years past, we probably would have rolled over and just quit.”
Women’s lacrosse (5-6, SUNYAC 1-4) played two conference games last week, losing 5-15 to the Brockport Golden Eagles (4-5, SUNYAC 3-1) in Brockport April 7 and 5-19 to the No. 19 Cortland Red Dragons (9-3, SUNYAC 5-0) at home.
Midfielder Lindsay Guzzetta was the top scorer through both games, netting three goals in both games. During 90 minutes of action, goalie Lilla Nease saved 18 of 40 shots. Emma McLaughlin set a program record for the single-season total for ground balls at 40.
Since comfortably winning its first conference game against the Buffalo State Bengals (4-6, SUNYAC 0-4) 13-9 March 25, the Cardinals have been on a 4-game SUNYAC slide. Head Coach Kelly Wall has stressed team mentality during the stretch.
“We’re getting there. I still think we have some hurdles to jump over, but it’s definitely gotten better in the last couple of weeks,” Wall said. “Obviously, everyday isn’t perfect and real life gets in the way, but I think they’re taking steps in the right direction.”
Cortland is the top team in the conference. Plattsburgh will be able to use the experience going forward into the most important games of the season.
“I think by versing a team of this caliber, it just shows you that is the best [competition]. I think we played pretty well against them, despite the score,” Guzzetta said. “I think that will push us to play harder next game.”
Plattsburgh plays the Oswego Lakers (8-3, SUNYAC 3-1) April 15. A win would go a long way for the Cardinals’ playoff hopes.