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Cardinals cruise in semis; eyes turn to Cortland.

Feb. 26—PLATTSBURGH — Whatever Julia Masotta did Saturday morning, she needs to replicate it to a tee next weekend.

Masotta scored four of the Cardinals' five goals in a 5-1 victory over Morrisville in the SUNYAC semifinals.

"I think it's a huge credit to my linemates," she said. "And honestly everybody on our team from the coaching staff, the goaltending and every single person I was on the ice with.

"I mean, I was wanting to put them in but there's three or four unreal passes that kind of put me in a position to be very successful. So that's a huge credit to them. and I think it's a huge credit to the way our team played today."

It was rare, in a way, for Plattsburgh to score that many goals in a game. It was the first time since a Jan 20 victory over Buffalo State that the Cardinals scored five goals.

Outside of that, the Cards' scoring has been in a "drought" this season as Masotta said.

"We talked about in the locker room that (games are) going to get harder, we're in a bit of a scoring drought so (the scoring) definitely feels good, but I think it's such a credit to our team," she said. "Having it be playoffs it's definitely huge and it's a boost of confidence, a bit for sure.

"But I think it's such a great feeling just given the way that our line played. I mean, all those goals were line plays and you know, everybody on the ice contributing."

And contributing they are. Along with Ciara Wall tallying a goal, Kendall Wasik and Emma McLean recorded three and two assists, respectively.

"I think it's good that we're kind of getting on a roll at the right time," McLean said. "We want some revenge on Cortland after the loss last weekend. So, we're really excited and looking forward to playing them again next week."

Masotta wasted little time to get the Cards going. After a shot by Emma McLean bounced off the goalkeeper's pads, it landed next to Masotta as she sent the puck into the back of the net.

Midway through the third period, Ava Mattaliano sent the puck towards the net after a faceoff, which was saved and sent top shelf on a rebound by Masotta to push the lead to 2-0.

Ivy Boric, who admitted to dealing with a cold that's run through the team, said players like Ava Mattaliano have stepped up to fill slots when called upon. An example is Boric played the role of extra forward that caused a shift in the lines.

Yeah, we've had a bit of sickness going around like myself and I'm still not feeling too hot," Boric said. "I think Ava has done a good job with what she's been putting in. Not a lot of time to get adjusted to that spot, but I think she did well.

"I think the team as a whole kind of adjusted accordingly."

The second period saw an early power play goal by Wall go through the five-hole to push the lead further.

It would be after a five on three advantage for Plattsburgh that Masotta scored her third goal of the game as she rebounded a shot from Mattie Norton to score with just seconds remaining on the clock. The referees would discuss as the clock showed 0:00, but allowed the goal and put one second on the clock.

The third period saw Morrisville cut into the lead when Hailee Eason scored on a power play with 16 minutes remaining.

Less than a minute later Masotta scored on a breakaway, beating the keeper on the right side, to seal the victory for Plattsburgh.

Up next for the Cards is Cortland, who defeated Plattsburgh in the final game. Masotta is confident in the team's performance heading into the championship.

It's just staying within our systems and trusting our coaching staff," she said. When we get everybody going like we did tonight, I think they kind of fall into place.

"One thing that we're super lucky as we've got, in my opinion, one of the best goalies in Division III and I might be a little biased but she takes care of all that and let's just play a little bit more loose. Whether we're scoring goals and winning five to one or if we're winning one nothing games with Lulu behind us, as long as we get those wins. It's all about us."

Nease allowed one goal on 20, and has a .98 GAA.

With that in mind, it may come down to, as Boric put it, the first team to score will win. But, with home ice Plattsburgh oozes with confidence.

"I think that the first goal is key and just play our own game," Boric said. "We're not a very high scoring team this year.

"But I mean, good teams find a way to win. So if it comes down to one goal game we just got to grind it out and hold our ground."

With the win the Cards improve to 22-3-1, and face Cortland (19-5-2), Saturday at 3 p.m. They will be vying for their 11th straight league title.

Plattsburgh 5, Morrisville 1

PSU 2 2 1 — 5

MOR 0 0 1 — 1

First Period- 1, PSU, Masotta (McLean, Wall). 4:20. 2, PSU, Masotta (Mattaliano, Thompson). 10:31

Second Period- 3, PSU, Wall (Olshanksy, Wasik) 3:30. 4, PSU, Masotta (Norton, Wasik) 19:59.

Third Period- 5, MOR, Eason (Mabey, Kalinowski) 16:01. 6, PSU, Masotta (McLean, Wasik) 16:58.

Shots- Plattsburgh, 41-21.

Saves- Jones, MOR, 19. Timby, MOR, 17. Nease, PSU, 20