Leaving Utica last weekend, the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey was left with an unfamiliar taste in its mouth: The taste of losing.
Despite taking an early lead in the first period with the help of a goal from junior Melissa Ames, the Cards could not hold on to the perfect season that they had been striving for up until this point. When the final buzzer sounded, PSUC had experienced their first loss in 34 games.
“That’s a streak that we’re definitely proud of,” head coach Kevin Houle said. “But now we got to have a short term memory as a team and look forward to our bigger goals.”
The overall picture is something that the Cards have been preaching since the commencement of this season. Every team will have their high and low points, but the end result should always be engraved in the mind of the team.
The main focus for PSUC: capturing another National Championship. Rings are something that they have acquired a taste for over the past four years.
Although the loss may have come from an unexpected adversary, both the coaching staff, as well as, many members of the team do not blame lack of preparation or overlooking these teams for their rare loss.
“We take every game one game at a time,” junior forward Melissa Ames said. “No team is looked at as an easy win when the schedules come out.”
The next day, the Cards came out with a lot more energy as they had something to prove to the team that had just shocked the conference. They wanted to make it known that they were still in contention for the National Championship, even though a capable team had just gotten the best of them.
Still looking to clinch ECAC West regular season title, goals from sophomore forward Kayla Meneghin, junior forward Jordan Lipsonand and junior defenseman Erin Brand in the second period started a spark of scoring that would lead the Cards to a final 6-1 victory of Utica.
Although beating the team that cost you you’re undefeated season has to be a great feeling, a monstrous amount of respect has been geared towards Utica by most of PSUC.
“They came ready to play, and they didn’t care that we were undefeated,” senior forward Bridget Balisy said. “They played their game and ended up on top. There was nothing we could do to stop them.”
Looking forward, the Cards have one final regular season game before taking on the much anticipated playoff competitions. They will be on the road against a Potsdam team that has been known to have a tough goaltender to get the best of.
Unfortunately, the scoring force that they have been used to having on the ice is questionable for this upcoming weekend as Melissa Sheeran suffered an injury during last week’s game against Utica. Her diagnosis has still not been confirmed, but she is hopeful to be back on the ice for the last game of the regular season.
Although they may be down a player, the team’s preparation has not changed, but their mentality of being more on guard for every team is heightened. It was evident in their practice this past week that everyone seemed to have a much higher focus level than what they have been used to.
“The girls have seen what can happen, how something so unexpected can happen,” Houle said. “I think this was a good thing to happen, especially right before playoffs.”
This mentality is felt throughout the entire team. They have been on a mission to be the absolute best team that they can possibly be. To the Cards, it has become the norm that the best team they can be is the National Championship team.
Email Kevin Morley at firstname.lastname@example.org