The Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team will prepare to shift all its focus toward SUNYAC competition after losing the final non-conference game on its schedule to St. Lawrence University 11-7 Wednesday on a snowy night in Plattsburgh.
PSUC head coach Joe May said the team focused on strengthening parts of their game and noted how their matchup against St. Lawrence helped in their preparation for SUNYAC competition because of their skill and similarity to the Cards.
“St. Lawrence is a really good team,” May said. “They are ranked in the top 10 right now, and they play a similar style of lacrosse as us.”
Playing non-conference teams has helped the Cards explore their strengths and weaknesses before SUNYAC competition starts.
Senior attackman and midfielder Brendan Damm said the Cards are primed for conference play and are confident in the way they utilized non-conference matchups.
“I would say we are really prepared,” Damm said. “The whole point of playing the teams we play in the beginning of the season is to play better competition in hope of being battle tested come conference play.”
Senior attackman Patrick Nash said that playing against ranked teams has presented learning opportunities.
“I think we have seen a lot of good players from our non-conference schedule, and we will use that experience against SUNYAC teams,” Nash said. “I think we have played some close games thus far. When it comes down to it, if we are in a close game, we are going to have the confidence and be prepared to handle that situation.”
As the Cards prepare for SUNYAC play, they believe that team unity will be an important factor. Right now, May said the team chemistry is good but can always be improved.
“It develops as the year goes on,” May said. “It’s never set. It just needs to be more consistent. We have really good chemistry some days, and other days, it’s just okay. We need more of those good days.”
The Cards first taste of SUNYAC competition will be tomorrow, as they welcome the Brockport Golden Eagles at 1 p.m., and PSUC knows conference competition is going to be very challenging.
“I think the SUNYAC is getting stronger since I have gotten here,” Damm said. “I think it’s going to be a good year. I hope the teams that we played before have gotten us ready for games to come and get it done.”
May said the key to his team being successful in conference play will be sharing the ball and playing as a unit.
“We need to work hard to get teammates goals,” May said about how the Cards need to play together. “Defensively, we have to stay out of the penalty box, and we can’t have any mental breakdowns like losing our guys and allowing an easy goal. We need to really play our style of lacrosse.”
The Cards have a big team. They believe their size is an advantage they will have over other SUNYAC teams moving forward in the season.
“I think we have depth. We play three midfield lines, and most teams in our conference play one midfield line, maybe two,” Nash said. “We have a lot of players that can finish the ball, players that can shoot, our goalie is outstanding and our defense is solid.”
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