NEW PALTZ — Plattsburgh State’s women’s basketball team probably has not struck a whole lot of fear into the hearts of many of its SUNY Athletic Conference opponents over the years.
Only a handful of winning seasons and no conference championships will do that to you.
This year however, the Cardinals have taken one big step toward changing that perception, and are now just a win away from their first appearance in the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament title game.
No. 5 seed Plattsburgh (15-11, 11-8 SUNYAC), will have another opportunity to show just how far the program has come tonight when it faces top-seeded New Paltz (22-3, 16-2 SUNYAC), in the semifinals at the Hawk Center. No. 2 seed Geneseo and No. 3 seed Oswego will meet in the other semifinal, and the winners will play Saturday.
After an up-and-down regular season, the Cardinals have caught fire over the latter stages of the season, winning a season-best six games in a row, including victories over Geneseo, Cortland and Oswego, as well as defending SUNYAC champion Oneonta in the quarterfinals Tuesday night.
In each of those contests Plattsburgh knocked off a team ahead of them in the overall standings.
“If people want to call us underdogs, we’re OK with that,” Cardinals coach Cheryl Cole said. “At this point in the season, though, records and rankings or history really don’t mean anything. I guess if being considered an underdog gives us a little chip on our shoulder and gives us a little extra motivation, then that’s a good thing.
“But right now everyone is 0-0 and the only game that matters is the one right in front of us. Right now, we’re not thinking about making it to Saturday’s final or anything else. Right now, we’re focusing on doing what we do best and getting a win over a very good New Paltz team.”