By Collin Bolebruch
After what can only be described as a rough three weeks, Plattsburgh women’s lacrosse has done a complete 180, just in time for conference play.
On Wednesday, the Cardinals (2-4) beat the Russell Sage Gators (3-5) by a score of 15-5. This big win comes after having two games canceled as well as losing their last three contests with a combined score of 17-51.
“Well, I got on them a little bit, but just working together we had to go back to basics after those losses and I think that really helped us,” Head Coach Kelly Wall said.
Plattsburgh distributed the ball and eight different players scored. There were hat tricks from Jordan Kowalski, Kate Kennedy and Caroline Noia; two goals from Emily Coaili; and single goals each from Fiona Fitzgerald, Nicole Resnick, Caitlin Nash and Melanie Winters. Assists included two from Caoili and one each from Fitzpatrick, Lindsay Guzzetta and Maddy Garcia. Nikki Scioscia contributed three caused turnovers.
“I think a lot of us had a lot of confidence coming into this game so that definitely allowed more players to become more active on the offense,” Noia said.
The Gators’ Alexandra Queeney made two goals, and Aimee Rodriguez, Marissa Key and Grace Hines all put in one. Brylee Pelfrey added three caused turnovers.
A major factor in the Cardinals’ turnaround win was their stifling defense. A strong draw control count of 19-4 rarely let Russell Sage see the ball. The possessions opened up plenty of shot opportunities with Plattsburgh shooting 31 to the Gators’ 13. That is both Platts’ highest of the season and its opponents lowest. When the Gators did have the ball, the Cardinals flocked, causing 10 turnovers.
“Talking [was most important], I know that we’ve struggled in the past with being quiet, and if you’re quiet you’re going to get taken advantage of, so they definitely stepped up, for sure,” Wall said.
The thrashing started early for Plattsburgh, and the first goal came at 11 minutes, 7 seconds in the first quarter and by the end, it had six. For the rest of the period, Russell Sage didn’t attempt a single shot, instead having eight turnovers and only one draw control.
The second quarter saw the most points for Russell Sage all game. The Cardinals got aggressive, and the Gators were rewarded with four free position shots, converting two of them. Russell Sage again had low draw control numbers and a high turnover count, allowing Platts to score another six.
The second half was much quieter, and the Cardinals only led in scoring 3-2.
“I think this will just be a good confidence boost for the team, and we’ll be able to draw this momentum for the next game,” Guzzetta said.
This surge in play came just in time for a struggling Plattsburgh team as the majority of conference play opens Saturday, April 2 against the Fredonia Blue Devils (0-6). The Cardinals’ last match-up against the Blue Devils was almost three years ago on April 20, 2019, when they lost 12-13.
“Winning kind of just plays itself, but just working together throughout the week and keeping the energy up and making sure that everyone’s healthy because that’s important,” Wall said.