Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse is off to a bit of a rough start, beginning their season 0-2. That being said, it is still early, and the warmer temperatures and less formidable forecasts on the horizon should have a positive effect on the Cardinals.
The colder-than-usual winter that has hit the North Country this year has limited the amount of practice and preparation time the lacrosse team has been able to put in on the newly renovated turf field.
The team has been forced to spend nearly all of their practice time inside, which naturally hurts certain aspects of a team’s rhythm and flow. It is impossible to get proper spacing inside a gym, so when it comes time to actually play games outside, PSUC has had a hard time overcoming these spacing issues.
It seems however it is starting to warm up, and some more time outside should prove very valuable to the Cards.
Head coach Ryan Cavanagh talked about the weather disadvantage and some other obstacles PSUC faced in their first game of the season.
“We had been out on the field probably four times before that game,” Cavanagh said. “RPI is a little further south, has been outside a little more than us, and had a game under their belts. They jumped out to an early lead and we couldn’t dig ourselves out of that hole.”
PSUC has an extremely difficult out-of-conference schedule this year. This type of schedule has the ability to strengthen the Cards’ skills before heading into SUNYAC play and give them a better chance of securing an at large bid to the NCAA tournament, if they do not win in the SUNYAC tournament. Cavanagh stressed that even though these difficult, important games are being played in a not so ideal circumstances, the team capitalizing is crucial.
“This is definitely the most difficult out-of-conference schedule that we’ve ever played,” Cavanagh said. “These games all have NCAA implications and as nice as it would be to play all our games in late March and nice weather, we don’t have that luxury.”
Sophomore defender Joey Duckham believes this tough schedule to start the season will only help the Cards’ chances as they advance into conference play.
“I think come SUNYAC play we will be ready for war,” Duckham said. “We will definitely be battle-tested.”
In both of PSUC’s games this season they found themselves behind early due to with slow starts, and their comeback efforts falling short.
Senior midfielder Cole Anderson believes if the team sticks to their system and what they are being taught, they can avoid slow starts, similar to what they’ve experienced in both games this season.
Both of these issues again find a root in the lack of play time outside. This issue should disappear soon as winter begins to move out to make way for spring.
The Cards have seven games until SUNYAC play begins, all of which provide a different challenge and hold the opportunity to help the team improve in a variety of areas.
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