The Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team strung together two wins in SUNYAC play to take a share of second place in the conference and now faces a 10-day break before trying to carry that momentum forward.
The Cardinals (3-8, 2-1) next take the field against the College at Brockport (4-6, 2-1) at home on April 21.
PSUC enters this break with a pair of wins against SUNY Oswego (6-4, 0-3) and SUNY Potsdam (3-7, 0-2). Head coach Joe May believe the rest will be good for the Cards.
“We have some time off to heal up,” May said. “The guys have been fighting hard, and are a little banged and bruised. With ten days off until our next game and a good Brockport team coming up at home on senior day, I’m not worried about us getting fired up and ready to go for that game,”
For May, this is an opportunity to practice in ways that they don’t normally have time to address during the season.
“When you play these games on Wednesday and then Saturday, you have to spend a good amount of those two practices in between games scouting for the other team,” May said. “Now we’re going to take some time to do some team-building stuff, and mainly focus on areas that we can improve”
Entering Saturday’s contest against Oswego on a lengthy losing streak, PSUC put it to an end with a 9-6 victory. It wasn’t a great start for the Cards, who gave up the first three goals of the game, but they were able to rally and dictate play from that point.
“After first quarter, we owned the entire game,” said John Lennon, senior midfielder.
May said that his team wasn’t doing anything wrong at the start, they just weren’t executing the game plan well.
“We didn’t change anything,” May said. “I just told them to play to their potential. Sometimes you can overcoach things. We didn’t need to change what we were doing, we just needed to do it better.”
After PSUC took a lead in the final seconds of the third quarter, senior goalie Donald Tesoriero stood tall to hold on for the win, making four key saves in the fourth quarter. May acknowledged the great play in net, but stressed that the defense as a whole played well.
“It is very rarely the goalie’s fault when the ball goes in the back of the net,” May said. “The Goalies are there to bail you out and to save the ones they should save.”
The Cards backed up the win with another Wednesday, this time 11-9 on the road against SUNY Potsdam.
“We played really well all over the field,” May said. “It was an excellent offensive performance, and we had a defense that went against a really talent offense in Potsdam.
PSUC entered halftime of the game with a two-goal lead, which quickly evaporated as the Bears tied it in the third quarter.
“Until the last whistle blows, I am always on edge,” May said. “I think our tough non-conference schedule earlier in the year really prepared us in that moment. We are used to being in tight games against good teams.”
After the game, May was quick to point out a few players who put in good individual efforts.
“Kyle Smith had 11 ground balls [Wednesday],” May said. “Eleven ground balls from a [long-stick midfielder] is a really big stat number. We had some key players step up and make big plays,” May said. “But also guys like E.J. Suris, who had a huge goal today. Connor Wolff had a big assist.”
While also acknowledging the efforts of Ryan Hubbard, Billy Moller and Jake Carroll, May said that the game was won as a team.
“We won this together,” May said “It wasn’t our offense that won. It wasn’t our defense. It wasn’t our special teams. It was our bench, our practice squad guys. It was everybody.”
After taking a 1-8 record early in the season, May acknowledged that the team is happy to be back in the win column.
“It feels great,” May said. “But 2-4 does not give you a playoff berth. We have three good teams left on our schedule.”
Email Nathanael LePage at firstname.lastname@example.org