Sunday, July 21, 2024

Winning when it counts: Cardinals drop game against Middlebury, beat two SUNYAC teams over the week

The Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team play its last home game of the season against the SUNY Potsdam Bears next Wednesday after a triple-overtime win against Oswego State and a blowout loss by Middlebury College. 

The Cardinals entered Oswego fresh off a close 12-11 win against Oneonta last Wednesday. 

Eager to add another conference win, PSUC kicked off the game’s scoring with a goal from sophomore attacker Connor Wolff two and a half minutes in.   

The Cards and the Lakers were tied with four goals each entering the fourth quarter. Two goals within two and half minutes gave Oswego the lead. 

With four minutes left, freshman midfielder Pete Mullen scored his 20th goal of the season to cut the Lakers’ lead to one.

Senior attacker Jake Carroll tied the game with three minutes remaining in regulation. 

Entering the overtime periods, sophomore goaltender Joe Falco was confident PSUC would end up on top.

“Me and the defense talked about it. We knew the entire time that we were going to pull out with a win a hundred percent,” Falco said.  

The first two four-minute overtime periods went scoreless for both the Cards and the Lakers. 

Carroll’s goal with three minutes remaining in the third overtime broke the scoring drought and gave the Cards their third conference win of the season.

PSUC’s game against non-conference Middlebury served as a reminder that the Cards are still a work-in-progress. 

The first period ended even for both teams with three goals each, but that’s when the wheels started to fall off. 

Head coach Joe May wanted his team to treat the Panthers like any other game, whether they were facing a SUNYAC opponent or not. 

“It’s a meaningless game that you go out there and play for pride,” May said. “We did that for a short amount of time, but we didn’t finish the game like that.”

Middlebury outscored the Cards 18-2 for the remaining three quarters, leaving a final score of 21-5. 

“I think we got a little bit in our heads [Wednesday],” Falco said. “We didn’t play the way we know how to play. It was just honestly a fluke. We can do better than that. We know we can do better than that, and we will do better next time.” 

PSUC’s 22 turnovers and containing the Panthers’ play in transition were the determining factors of the game, May said.

May’s team is in crunch time with two SUNYAC games remaining against Potsdam and Brockport, but he feels it is important for his team to look at the loss holistically. 

“You gotta keep everything in perspective,” May said. “If we had won this game, it shouldn’t have been the highlight of our season. If we lost this game, it wouldn’t have been the worst part of our season. We just have to continue to improve and take things one day at a time.”

 May also doesn’t want his team to take away from their conference wins because of the loss.

“Every one of those SUNYAC games is a big game,” he said. “We can’t let this game, where we didn’t do our best, take away from what we did play pretty dang good.”

The final two games is the most important stretch of the season for the Cards as they fight for home field advantage throughout the SUNYAC tournament. 

May and his team are excited for the opportunity for another conference win against Potsdam Wednesday.

“Home game under the lights on Wednesday against Potsdam, that’s a fun game,” May said.  

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