Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Last SUNYAC games must-win for lacrosse

Sports are all about a series of ups and downs. For the larger part of their season, Plattsburgh State lacrosse has been on the up, getting off to the best start in program history, but two straight SUNYAC losses have put them into what could be considered a down situation.

Down, but not out.

The Cardinals have what head coach Ryan Cavanagh calls “their back against the wall.”

Cavanagh also said in their past two losses, specifically against Cortland, they let their opponent get off to too big a lead and failed to play their game.

“We let up a lot of goals early against Cortland,” Cavanagh said. “Then, when we were trying to recover from that, we strayed away from what we do.”

Their two recent in-conference losses dropped them from first to third in the conference. Since only the top-four teams make the SUNYAC tournament, they are in an unsteady position. A loss this weekend to SUNYAC rival Oswego could melt away more of the already thin ice they are currently standing on.

With only two SUNYAC games remaining, the Cards’ coaching staff and players understand the importance of their upcoming game, and are ready to put in a complete effort to allow their season to continue.

Assistant coach Brett McClelland explained just how important wins are right now if this team wishes to make it to the postseason.

“We don’t have a chance to drop another game,” McClelland said. “It is definitely time to put our money where our mouth is.”

PSUC is currently dealing with injuries, as all teams do, and are looking toward some different players to come up big in this make-or-break part of the season.

Senior James Read put an emphasis on the underclassmen, continuing buy to in and believe that what they are doing will result in success.

“I think it is going to come down to the younger guys,” Read said. “If they keep pushing and believing in this program, I know we are going to be fine.”

The Cards are still dominating their opponents offensively, leading the SUNYAC in almost every category on that side of the field. AttackmenBrendan Damm, Jack Felter and Ryan Hubbard are the top three scorers in the conference, while Read trails only Damm in total points.

On the other side of the field, junior goalie Matt Massaria continues to have an outstanding season, pulling in three SUNYAC Player of the Week awards and placing second in the SUNYAC in total saves with 150.

A lot is going well for PSUC this season, and it is almost over, but they still have a lot at stake in two games. Whether they show up on these occasions will control their destiny. The likelihood of them winning is much stronger when they are able to get off to a quick start in games. This allows the team to settle into their offense and not play pannicked.

With their balanced yet dominant offense, and Massaria stopping almost everything in sight, PSUC’s odds of lengthening their season look strong.

Email Bailey Carlin at bailey.carlin@cardinalpointsonline.com

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