Apr. 27—PLATTSBURGH — The conclusion to the season for the Plattsburgh State women’s lacrosse team did not go exactly the way it wanted.
No. 18 Cortland (10-1, 8-0) topped the Cardinals (2-6, 2-6) in SUNYAC women’s lacrosse, 14-2, Monday at the Plattsburgh State Athletic Complex.
While the season ended on a bit of a negative, Cardinals coach Julie Decker said there were still plenty of positives that came out of the abbreviated 2021 campaign.
“I am thoroughly impressed with how much we have improved from the beginning of the season,” Decker said. “We opened our season against Cortland and ended the season against them too, so it felt like a nice gauge to see where we were at.”
Plattsburgh limited the Red Dragons to the fewest amount of goals they had against a conference opponent in any game this season, tying the defensive performance of Oneonta, which also surrendered 14 goals earlier in the year.
“Our team defense has gotten so much better,” Decker said. “In a two-and-a-half-week span, to be able to go from what happened in our first game against them (22-5), we can feel really good about that. As far as on offense, we were getting good looks and getting shots off, but they were not going into the back of the net.”
Hannah Lorenzen and Hannah Keech both scored four goals to lead the Cortland offense, while Emily Goebel had three more. Katie Goodrich (2) and Kiki Meager (1) combined for the Red Dragons’ three other markers.
Cortland opened the contest on a 10-0 run before the Cardinals broke through with 21:10 left in the second half as Caroline Noia found the back of the net to put Plattsburgh on the board.
Lindsay Guzzetta scored on a free position shot late in the second half for the Cardinals’ other goal.
“This group is resilient,” Decker said. “We have a great group of athletes that has never backed down all season and never given up even with all the cards stacked against us. Just super proud of the group as a whole because they truly gave it their all.”
Paige Potter turned away 11 shots in the Red Dragon nets, and Alexa Cassidy made 11 stops for Plattsburgh.
The Cardinals had a bit of a tough time settling in on offense even though they had plenty of zone time, and when the shots were there, Potter and the Cortland defense stood tall.
Decker called a timeout with 8:09 left in the first half to try and get her team to calm down a bit with the ball.
“The message there was to just settle down offensively and get the ball moving more and to try and get some better looks to just really set something up,” Decker said. “More often than not, we were getting it down on offense, but we were just watching when one person looked to drive. We talked about working the ball around more and having more movement and using our smarts a little bit better.”
Cortland now heads into the SUNYAC playoffs as the top seed from the East Division, and Plattsburgh will regroup and get ready for next season after finishing fifth in the division.
While missing the playoffs was not what the Cardinals wanted, they did have some milestones this year, which included their first two conference wins in program history.
After a year heavily impacted by COVID complications, which condensed what was supposed to be a 40-day season into 17, Decker said nothing was easy about Plattsburgh’s 2021 schedule, but the Cardinals made the most of it.
“For us to have the challenges we have faced in the last month or two in trying to get our season going, we were up against it,” Decker said. “If we had more time to prepare and more time together as a team, things could have been different, but we pushed through.
“It was not easy, but we survived and saw a lot of great things on the way. The future is promising for our program.”
Cortland 14, Plattsburgh State 2
Cortland 7 7 — 14
Plattsburgh 0 2 — 2
CSU- Procopio 0-2, Meager 1-0, Lorenzen 4-2, Tiso 0-1, Keech 4-0, Goebel 3-0, Goodrich 2-0, Janis 0-1.
PSU- Noia 1-0, Guzzetta 1-0.
Shots- Cortland, 29-16.
Ground balls- Cortland, 20-15.
Draw controls- Cortland, 10-8.
Saves- Potter, CSU, 11. Cassidy, PSU, 11.
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