Thursday, January 27, 2022

Women’s hockey centers attention toward Potsdam

After their 3-1 victory over the Cortland Red Dragons, Plattsburgh State is looking stellar heading into their last three games of the season.

The Cardinals will face off twice against Utica and will end their season with a final showdown against SUNY Potsdam. Both the players and coaches have adapted to the mindset of taking it one game at a time, making sure they focus in on the task at hand.

“Something that is big for us is never being complacent with where we’re at,” junior goaltender Camille Leonard said. “We can’t be satisfied with winning every game and there’s something on the line every game that could be taken from us, and we don’t want that.”

For the upcoming weeks, the main focus for the team is to continue playing as one unit, each person having a job to do and, more importantly, making sure that these jobs get done. In terms of the focus for their opposition, Potsdam has become known for their powerhouse goalie, Abby Tardelli.

One of the reasons Tardelli may be of some concern for the Cards is due to the fact that she had one of her best performances against PSUC the last time the two teams encountered each other. Tardelli finished the game with a total of 55 saves. Although PSUC came out on top this game with a 4-1 victory, that statistic is still in the back of the team’s mind.

The Cards will do what they always do in preparation for their games because

when it comes down to it, all they can do is make sure they are ready for whatever comes their way. Players have taken it upon themselves to nearly perfect all aspects of their game.
Leonard always strives to be better, going into each practice looking to make herself the best player that she can be.

She recalls how at the beginning of the season, her puck handling wasn’t at a level that she was content with, and at each practice, she went in with her goal in mind. Although she has improved this facet of her game tremendously, it is not in any Cards’ genetic makeup to be content with anything. There is always work to be done.

The progression that occurs during the course of the season for these players is not just made on an individual level, though. Players are constantly working together to supplement each other’s style of play to make the best lines that they can put out on the ice.

Sophomore forward Kayla Meneghin has given a lot of credit to the role of leaders on the team.

“We have a lot of strong girls on this team,” Meneghin said. “A lot of girls that will always be there to push you and pick you up when you’re down.”

The coaching staff, including head coach Kevin Houle, is no different in working to get better with any opportunity. The irony; What changes can you make to a team that has a perfect record thus far in the season?

Houle’s inspiration is a goal that he and the team are always striving toward.

“We’re always going to be playing for first place,” Houle said. “And we’re always going to be aiming for that championship title.”

Email Kevin Morley at kevin.morley@cardinalpointsonline.com

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