By Collin Bolebrunch
After a disappointing first game, the Cardinals Women’s lax team bounced back in their home opener.
On Tuesday, Plattsburgh (1-1) beat the Norwich Cadets (1-1) by a score of 17-5. This win comes off the heels of an 8-16 loss to the Canton Kangaroos in the Cardinals season opener.
“It’s something we definitely want to learn from,” attack Maddy Garcia said. We wanted to prove ourselves. So with the second game we had, we worked a lot better. Honestly, in Canton, it was really bad. We were having an off day, we weren’t working together.”
Plattsburgh’s win saw an outstanding five goals from Caroline Noia, hat-tricks by Emily Caoili and Caitlin Nash, and a pair of goals each from Garcia and Lindsay Guzzetta. Additional scoring came from Davina Gyedu and Fiona Fitzgerald. Caoili also added three assists. For Norwich, Allison Sturgeon scored three points, and multiple other players scored one.
The story of the game, though, was the Cardinals’ outstanding defensive effort. The five points are the least amount scored by a Cardinal opponent in a win since March 9, 2019. The Cadets recorded a whopping 30 turnovers and shot just 10 times — five of which were saved by goalie Johanna Malone, who played all 60 minutes.
“I don’t think my defense could have played any better than they did. They were excellent,” Malone said.
Plattsburgh was firing on all cylinders for a vast majority of the game. The first quarter ended with a score of 5-1 and the Cardinals did not look back — there wasn’t a quarter where Norwich outscored Plattsburgh. Going into the half, the Cardinals led 8-1. They held onto that lead, never leading by less than seven for the rest of the game.
Malone credited the win to good preparation and execution. Over the week before the game, the team stressed working together and communication. More specifically that they’d be able to hold themselves and each other accountable.
The win against Norwich was the third game against the school all-time, and the second win. The Cadets are the Cardinals’ most prolific non-conference opponent.
This was the first career season for Cardinals’ with Kelly Wall as a head coach.With multiple shortened seasons due to COVID and the coaching turnover, Plattsburgh has had to develop as a group before this season.
“There’s been like a huge difference in how we all play together, and I think we’ve also gotten closer with each other off the field, which really helped. Throughout the first semester, we were getting really close to each other… I think that was definitely a huge factor in our chemistry on the field,” Garcia said.
Before cancellation, the Cardinals were scheduled to match up against the Utica Pioneers (1-0) on Wednesday, March 9 and the Union Dutchmen (1-0) on Saturday, March 12. Now, Plattsburgh’s next matchup comes against the St. Lawrence Saints (3-0) on Tuesday, March 15. This will be Platts’ first game ever against the school in what will be a tough matchup before a week-long hiatus.