The Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team finished the regular season with a 4-3 win over No. 3 Middlebury Feb. 21. For five players, it’s the last regular season game they’ll play in a Cardinals uniform.
The Cards will lose two defensemen, two forwards and a goalie at the conclusion of this season. Finishing as the No-2 seed, PSUC locked up a bye this weekend for the quarterfinal round of the ECAC West tournament.
Looking back on the year, the seniors reached the same conclusion: it went well.
“We had some ups and downs,” senior forward Morgan MacInnis said, “but as a whole, I think it was awesome.”
MacInnis and her fellow seniors recognize the overall success of the team, despite any adversity. The Cards lost several seniors after last season, but brought in six new faces. The team had to find its chemistry early with such a significant change.
“Last year, we basically had the same team as the year before,” MacInnis said. “It was a completely different dynamic this year. I think that worked to our advantage for the most part.”
Senior defenseman Mia Favretto echoes a similar sentiment, noting the difficulty of meshing as a team with so many fresh faces.
“We had a lot of new players,” Favretto said, “but I think overall we came together as a team pretty well.”
With the bye this weekend, the Cards get an extra week to recuperate and relax before jumping back in with the semifinal game. For the team, it’s vital to keeping healthy for playoffs.
“It’s a big recovery week now for a bunch of people who are sick or injured,” senior defenseman Alyssa Parke said.
Senior forward Shannon Stewart said the same, saying it will be nice to get the break. She also said it should be interesting because the team hasn’t had a day off all weekend.
Moving past the bye weekend and into the semifinals of the ECAC West tournament in Elmira, the Cards hope to win their league for the third year in a row. If the team can capture the league crown, there is a chance PSUC will host the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row and the seniors are ready for the battle.
“If we stick to our game plan and stick to what we know,” Favretto said, “I think we can do really good things.”
No-1 ranked Elmira handed the Cards their only losses of the season Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. PSUC could face the Soaring Eagles once more in the championship game.
“We know it’s not going to be easy,” Stewart said. “We’re definitely up for the challenge.”
Senior goaltender Ally Ross filled the role of backup goalie through her four years, never securing the starter position. Ross is satisfied with the role she filled, knowing she gave 110 percent every day.
“You want to be able to leave and say that you did absolutely everything that you could’ve done,” Ross said. “I know that I showed up every day with a purpose.”
PSUC’s five graduating players will leave behind a void to be filled by next year’s freshmen class. As for the players returning next season, the seniors’ offer advice focusing on hard work and giving everything you’ve got. Work hard, and good things will come they said.
“Stay focused,” Favretto said, “not everything is going to come easy.”
Email Jess Huber at firstname.lastname@example.org