PLATTSBURGH — It was a disappointing start to its State University of New York Athletic Conference season last Saturday for the Plattsburgh State men's lacrosse team in a 21-3 home setback to defending NCAA Division III champion Cortland.Today, it figures to be a more competitive test for the Cardinals (7-3, 0-1) when they travel to Oswego to play the Lakers (3-6, 0-2) in a 1 p.m. contest.The game is still on despite less than favorable playing conditions."They have a grass field and they've had some rain the last few days," said Plattsburgh State head coach P.J. Kavanagh. "So, it should be interesting — it's going to be pretty sloppy."Oswego has already played two conference games — a 10-3 loss at Brockport and a 22-5 setback at Cortland.Last year, Oswego posted a 7-6 win over the Cardinals on its home field."On paper, it's a pretty even match-up," Kavanagh said. "We beat them, 8-7, two years ago at home and they beat us last year by a goal at their place. They scored in the final five seconds of the game."This is our opportunity to steal one back. It should be fun — it should be a tight match and we're looking forward to it."A win would be a big boost within the conference for both teams."It's one of our six conference games and they are all important," Kavanagh said. "We're looking to get our first conference win. We have five games remaining and we want to win all of them."Getting off to a good start in the game against Oswego would be huge. We would like to rely on our ability to put a little pressure on them."The Cardinals and Lakers have already played four common opponents.Plattsburgh State defeated Farmingdale State (20-5) and Morrisville State (21-4), while losing to St. Lawrence (16-5) and Cortland (21-3).Oswego, meanwhile, recorded wins over Farmingdale State (14-10) and Morrisville State (16-3) and dropped contests to St. Lawrence (15-5) and Cortland (22-5)."It's going to be important for us to dig in and make it difficult for them to clear the ball," Kavanagh said. "That will help us be successful in the transition game."On the defensive side, we worked a lot on our team defense this week in practice. We need to execute the fundamentals."Winning faceoffs in what is expected to be a close game is also important."Ryan (Cavanagh) could be a huge difference maker for us," Kavanagh said. "If he plays well, it's going to give us more possessions and that's a key."The Cardinals and Lakers have played relatively low-scoring game in the past, but Kavanagh isn't ruling out the possibility of more goals being scored this time around."Our goal was to score more goals than we did last year and we have," he said."We're hoping, with our style of play, to continue that trend."
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