Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cardinals celebrate seniors at home

A group of seniors embrace John Eiseman (52) after he scored his 100th point April 20.

 

By Michael Purtell

Seeing seniors leave can be hard for any team. The most experienced players, often the best players, will move on from their collegiate careers. On a team like Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse — where the team is a second family — it’s like seeing a brother move away from home.

The final home game of the season honored 11 seniors, as Plattsburgh (4-11, 0-6) faced off against Brockport (4-10, 2-4) on Saturday, April 20. The Cardinals lost 7-19. The crowd was one of the largest this season with 122 spectators who cheered throughout the game in front of the senior banners posted on the lacrosse field’s fence.

The seniors were recognized for being upstanding role models for the underclassmen as well as their lacrosse careers. 

“They do a good job leading the young pups and making them a part of what we do on and off the field,” Head Coach Darry Thornton said. “We’re gonna miss them, but we’re gonna close strong for them.”

The Cardinals will finish its season with two away games.

 


By Michael Purtell

Senior midfielder Logan Jones makes a pass across the crease in front of the crowd of 122 on April 20.

 

The team’s 11 seniors make up more than a quarter of the team, leaving plenty of empty cleats for underclassmen to fill. The seniors honored included four attackers in John Eiseman, Jacob Sansone, Anthony Faber and Zach Derhak; four midfielders in Spencer Fucheck, Logan Jones, Chris Falborn and Cam Morin; two defenders in Matthew Tomlinson and Max Lamitie; and Dan Clements in goal.

The day was extra sweet for Eiseman, who scored his 100th collegiate point in the final eight seconds. He recorded three goals and an assist in the loss, including both the opening and closing goals of the game.

The milestone was exciting, but it would’ve been impossible if not for the support of the seniors and the team, Eiseman said. 

The season has been bumpy for Plattsburgh. After securing four wins in out-of-conference play to start the season, the Cardinals struggled to win a SUNYAC game.

The team’s record has done little to stifle the personality of the team. The Cardinals insist on being a squad that sticks together even during a rough season on the field, Thornton said. The seniors facilitate time for each other all throughout the year to hang out, study or watch sports.

The seniors are one of the most important parts of maintaining that friendly atmosphere. They work hard to make sure everyone on the team is included, from the nine seniors who live together to first-years who live on campus, Jones said.

The camaraderie does not go unnoticed, as incoming players have felt immediately welcomed into the Cardinal lacrosse family.

“I already feel like I’ve created bonds and friendships here that are just as strong — if not stronger — than people I’ve grown up with my entire life,” first-year defender Fynn Whitlock said.

 


By Collin Bolebruch

First-year midfielder Dylan Zambito fights for a face off.

 

The character of the team reaches further then the locker room as well. The crowd for senior day was composed of family members, friends, members of other sports teams and hometown friends who made trips up from as far as Longwood, New York. The big crowd was representative of the team’s friendly culture, Jones said.

“That was awesome that the guys got support from everyone,” Jones said. “It’s been a long, hard year, but seeing that crowd was awesome.”

Moving forward, the underclassmen will look to follow in the footsteps of this senior class. A new set of faces next year will mean more members to the Plattsburgh lacrosse family.

“I love the seniors,” Whitlock said. “It’s gonna be a bummer not having them around next season.”

The first-years themselves know they will need to step up without their student leaders, but they feel up for the challenge — a challenge which includes welcoming a new set of faces to the Cardinal lacrosse family.

The growth the seniors have helped facilitate means Plattsburgh State will still be in good hands.

“It’s been great to see (the underclassmen) come into their own, since they are the future of the program,” Jones said.

The team has left its mark on the seniors all the same, giving them memories they will hold dear for the rest of their lives.

“I’m very thankful that I’ve gotten four years of college lacrosse,” Jones said. “I’ve made some amazing friends over the last four years. It’s been awesome.”

 

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