A good recruitment class isn’t the only reason for more than just a little cautious optimism. Plattsburgh also returns virtually its entire roster from a year ago, including Payne and Marshall who have already established themselves as elite players in the SUNYAC. Both have made their marks in a major way in the early portion of their respective collegiate careers.
Payne led the SUNYAC in scoring for the majority of her sophomore season on her way to shattering her school’s all-time single-season scoring mark. Marshall, for her part, wasted no time establishing herself as one of the conference’s premiere playmakers and 3-point shooters as just a freshman. Those two, combined with a solid supporting cast, could fuel another solid season for the Cardinals.
“What I really like is the way some of our upperclassmen, especially the seniors, have stepped up,” Cole said. “They’ve come to camp focused and in shape and have already established themselves as leaders on this team. For many of these ladies this is it, they realize it’s time to really step it up and, so far anyways, they’ve done that.”
Plattsburgh will open its 2012-2013 campaign against a Sage squad that just might be out for some measure of revenge.
“That was just a strange game,” said Cole, referring to last year’s somewhat lopsided victory. “It was just one of those nights when everything we put up, no matter who was shooting it, it went in. We just couldn’t miss that night. We shot the ball better that night than we had all year. It was fun but you just can’t expect results like that every night.”
Cole would take another offensive explosion but realistically expects tonight’s matchup to be an entirely different story one year later.