Sunday, March 7, 2021

Knights eliminate Cards in semifinal

The Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team celebrated its victory over Potsdam that gave the Cardinals a home-field advantage in the SUNYAC semifinals last Wednesday. Seven days later, the same team was overtaken by somber faces held low as it quietly filed into its locker room. Meanwhile, distant roars and cheers from the visitor’s side echoed through the Field House’s lower level.

PSUC and the Geneseo Knights faced off Wednesday for the opportunity to play against Cortland in the championship round. 

Geneseo started off the gates quickly. After winning the opening faceoff, freshman midfielder Tommy DeVito netted the first goal of the contest in the very first possession. 

The Cards responded by scoring two goals of their own, but the Knights regained the lead and then widened it with four more goals in the first quarter. 

Down 5-2, PSUC worked quickly to even the score in the second quarter. Freshman attacker Zach Gill put the Cards back on top with his fifth goal of the season. PSUC’s 6-5 lead didn’t last long, with a Geneseo goal following two minutes later. 

Geneseo began to pull away in the middle of the fourth quarter. Two man-up goals in quick succession gave the Knights a 10-7 lead with eight minutes left in regulation. 

The Cards quickly erased Geneseo’s lead with two goals by sophomore attacker Connor Wolf and one by senior defenseman Michael Van Bommel, his first of the season. 

The semifinal game seemed as if it was headed to overtime as the game clock wound down until Geneseo’s sophomore attacker Tim Fallo cut through PSUC’s defense for the game-winning goal with seven seconds remaining. 

After the loss, the Cards were focused on their seniors.

“We let our seniors down today. We shouldn’t have let them go out that way,” Wolf, who scored three goals, said. “The [seniors] in there are one hell of a special group. They don’t deserve to go out like that.”

Head coach Joe May simply called the game “devastating.” His seniors weighed heavy on his mind.

“It was their last opportunity to play,” he said. “It’s a really tough way to see those guys go out.”

Twelve seniors made up this season’s team for PSUC. The seniors were among the first freshmen May coached when he took the head coaching job for PSUC.

The seniors were a large presence on the team and will be hard to replace, Wolf said.

“It’s a big hole [to fill],” Wolf said. “That whole senior class has some of the best players, on or off the field, I’ve ever met. It’ll be a big void.”

The Cards will look to retool and regroup next season as they compete for their second-ever championship.

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