Sunday, October 1, 2023

Cards powering their way into playoffs

The Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team has impressed many, including themselves this season. In its final stretch of the season, the Cardinals will finish up at home defending their nest in front of their fans, friends and family.

Out of the 11 seniors on the team, midfielder and captain Austin Belz is proud of what his senior class has accomplished to this point and is excited for the rest of what is to come.

“Us seniors are just trying to lay out the right path for everyone else,” Belz said. “A lot of us are four-year players, so we’re trying to set in stone that if you work hard and put in your four years, then you will come home with a SUNYAC championship, which would be a really special moment for us.”

By defeating Geneseo 13-6 at home last Saturday, the Cards guaranteed themselves a home playoff game and no worse than a No. 2 seed. The battle for the top seed of the playoffs is this weekend when the Cortland Red Dragons (12-1 overall, 4-0 SUNYAC) come to town.

“We’re taking it one game at a time,” Belz said prior to the game against Potsdam Wednesday. “Potsdam is the definition of a trap game. Even though they may not make the playoffs, we cannot look past them.”

PSUC hosted the Potsdam Bears Wednesday night and continued its winning streak by defeating the Bears 13-4 to remain perfect in SUNYAC play.

“It really builds a lot of momentum,” senior midfielder Mike Gay said. “Being undefeated (in conference) gives us a really good opportunity to roll into our next game, which is a huge game.”
With an overall record of 10-4 and a perfect 5-0 record in conference, the Cards
are cruising their way into the playoffs.

“We have kept our composure really well,” Gay said. “Anything to keep us rolling helps us a lot.”

But, in order to get that No. 1 seed, PSUC must beat Cortland on Saturday, the No. 5 ranked team in the country.

“I think because they believe, and because they’re confident,” head coach Joe May said as to why he believes his team will clinch the top seed. “If they come out like they did on Wednesday, it’s going to be a great battle with Cortland.”

For the Cards, it is a big weekend upcoming. Not only is it the final regular season game and a clash for the top seed, it is also Senior Day, so there should be a big showing of support from families and alumni.

“It is going to be a very physical, aggressive and competitive game,” May said. “We just have to keep our emotions in check like the way we did against Potsdam.”

The Birds take the field for a 1 p.m. start Saturday, and by the end of the game one team will come out representing the No. 1 seed in the SUNYAC playoffs. Regardless of the outcome, PSUC will stay put to defend their home turf in the conference semifinals.

“We just have to go out there and take care of business,” May said. “Our guys are hungry, but they know this game isn’t life or death for them, so we just have to go out there and be the best version of ourselves.”

Email Ezra Kachaturian at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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