Lady Cards set for East/West Classic
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 21:10
Losing to RIT in the NCAA tournament and finishing third in the country last season didn’t leave a good taste in the mouths of the No. 3 Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team.
That’s why when the Lady Cardinals take the ice Saturday against Manhanttanville College in the Norwich East/West Hockey Classic, they will be more than ready for their opponent.
“We’ve been training even harder than we ever have before (after last season),” goalkeeper Sydney Aveson said. “We’ve already made some inspirational videos, and we haven’t even started our season yet.”
Although Manhattanville may be a bit of a tune-up game for PSUC (the Lady Cards have outscored the Valiants 15-3 in the last three seasons), the Lady Cards won’t be taking their opponent lightly.
“Manhattanville always gives us a good game for the past few years that I’ve been here,” forward Jordan Caldwell said. “If we don’t come out strong, it’s going to be a fight.”
PSUC head coach Kevin Houle agreed that Manhattanville will be a good test as his team’s first regular season matchup.
“They have a very strong nucleus (of players) coming back from last year’s team,” Houle said. “They didn’t make the NCAAs, but they finished second in their league (last season) and lost a close game to Norwich in their league championship. They’re a strong team, and they’re a team that can play with anybody.”
Houle said that if the Lady Cards play their game against Manhattanville, and not worry about what Manhattanville is trying to do to them, they should be able to come out on top.
Saturday is a different story.
PSUC will face off against No. 2 Norwich, who beat the Lady Cardinals twice in overtime last season. This time around, they will look to show the national runners-up that they are the better team, Caldwell said.
“Obviously we can’t overlook Manhattanville to start with, but (with) Norwich, it’s a big game,” she said. “Everyone is pretty excited for it, and I think everybody is ready to show them we deserve to win.”
Although it is only the start of the season, the game against the Cadets could have playoff implications for both teams.
“Playing against Norwich on Saturday is really going to set the tone for the rest of the season,” Aveson said. “Whether or not we win is going to affect where we place and whether or not we host. Last year, it came down to one game for us getting our at-large bid. It came down to a tie-breaker and we certainly don’t want that to happen again.”
The keys to success for the Lady Cards this weekend will be similar to what they will be all season, Houle said.