The Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team is confident it can continue its success from last season.

Last season, the Cardinals had arguably their greatest season ever, capturing their first SUNYAC title in program history.

Head coach Cheryl Cole has set high expectations for the team this season and believes that they are definitely not out of reach.

“The expectations are always to win a SUNYAC championship,” Cole said. “It is the same goal as last year, but our method of getting there will definitely be different.”

Although PSUC lost three seniors last spring, those they lost were some of their major players, including Brooke Reifinger, Tequila Lloyd and All-American Kathleen Payne, who led the team last year in rebounds with 223, in points with 569 and average points with 19.6.

Junior forward Devonna Paul said she sees freshman Shawna Thornton as a player who has a chance to make an impact on the team this season. Paul praised the freshman’s uncanny ability to absorb new information thrown at her, which is not a common occurrence for an incoming freshman. This is a factor that could allow her to make an impact early on in her PSUC career.

“She is just a sponge,” Paul said. “She has shown a vast knowledge of basketball already.”

Cole praised a more experienced newcomer, Allie Taylor, who is a junior transfer from Onondaga Community College.

“She is ridiculously athletic,” Cole said. “She also has great basketball instincts. She needs a little bit of work but can definitely still make an impact.”

Senior guard Brittany Marshall, who was the second-leading scorer for PSUC last season is also confident about the Cards’ chances this year and identified some strong points her team needs to accent this season to be successful.

“As a team right now, we are very determined and focused,” Marshall said. “We have been very competitive with each other, and I see that helping us out in the long run.”

Marshall also highlighted a weakness for the Cards.

“I think we need to be a little bit more disciplined of the offense side,” Marshall said. “That is something Coach has talked to us about during our scrimmages.”

Developing throughout the season is important in ensuring a team a good season. Cole stressed that during the preseason last season the team was not nearly as good as they became throughout the season. This hard work ethic that Marshall mentioned earlier should allow this development to happen easily.

The expectations for the Cards are obviously high coming off such a strong season, but a solid group of newcomers accompanied by a large set of returners is keeping the team confident about their chances for success this season.

“We always try not to get too far ahead of ourselves and are going take it one game at a time,” Paul said.

Email Bailey Carlin at bailey.carlin@cardinalpointsonline.com.

<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/bailey-carlin/" rel="tag">Bailey Carlin</a>