The Plattsburgh State lacrosse team played the middle game of its three-game road stretch this past weekend at Geneseo.
The Cardinals (6-6, 2-1 SUNYAC) tallied their second conference game win against the Knights 19-8.
PSUC head coach Joe May said the team knew what had to be done coming into the contest.
“Beating the guy in front of you and winning those one-on-one matchups was important,” May said. “Defensively, we had to shut down the guy in front of us.”
The Cards started off the game slow, trailing the Knights 4-3 at the end of the first quarter. They started to heat up as the game progressed, though, scoring five goals in the second and led 8-4 at halftime.
In the second half, the Knights scored two goals in the middle of the third quarter and brought the game to within two. The Cards made sure Geneseo could not tighten the gap any further and outscored the Knights 11-2 the rest of the way to close the game out.
Senior defenseman Sean Murphy said the team is riding off the momentum from its previous win.
“Our confidence is up,” Murphy said. “Before playing Potsdam, we were on a three-game losing streak. Once we beat Potsdam, everything clicked, and we got the ball moving against Geneseo.”
The wins against Geneseo and Potsdam has fueled the team to continuously improve.
While the Cards experienced success, they know there is no room for complacency and want to continue to excel.
Murphy said the Cards are surpassing their expectations every day, and their overall skill is improving.
A strong catalyst for the Cards’ success lately has been their team chemistry, and sophomore midfielder Peter Ciacelli said team unity has been evolving.
“We have become closer in bunch. Our team captain brought us together a couple times and really talked to us,” Ciacelli said. “We have started to pull together as the season has gone on.”
As PSUC looks to continue its successful ways, they will be back on the road this weekend as they square against Cortland, a team they know all too well as they have lost to the Red Dragons the past three seasons in the SUNYAC championship game.
With this in mind, the Cards are preparing themselves intensely for the showdown with the Red Dragons and dissecting their opponent.
“We have been studying what they are excelling at this season, which is anytime they have an extra man on our defense,” Murphy said.
Ciacelli said the team is primed for their game against Cortland.
“Right now, all we are thinking about is playing Cortland and trying to secure that win because that would be huge for us,” Ciacelli said. “Everyone on this team wants to beat those guys.”
As the weather has started to warm up of late, PSUC has focused on its conditioning and believes it’s a key factor for its upcoming conference matchups.
“We are making sure there is nobody out of shape because anything can happen,” Murphy said. “In the Geneseo game, a few guys were cramping up and becoming fatigued because we were playing in 75 degree weather for the first time.”
May said it’s important for team to focus on just playing its game rather than the result of the contest.
“You can’t go into the game thinking we have to win,” May said “We need to execute our game plan. I don’t want them to think we have to win. We have to do our job, and the score will take care of itself.”
Email Adonys Temple at firstname.lastname@example.org