Cortland, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
CORTLAND, N.Y. – The nationally third-ranked Cortland men's lacrosse team broke open a close game with a 12-goal run spanning late in the first quarter into the third quarter and went on to defeat Keene State, 18-6, Saturday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Div. III playoffs at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex. The Red Dragons, who won their 15th consecutive game, improved to 16-2 on the season and advance to face RIT, an 11-9 winner at Connecticut College, Wednesday at home in the national quarterfinals at a time to be announced. The Owls' season ended at 13-6.
Seven different players scored two goals for Cortland. Sophomores Mike Tota (Webster/Webster Schroeder) and Greg Wright (Irondequoit) led the way with two goals and two assists each. Senior Brian Krol (Niskayuna) and junior Chris DeLuca (Sayville) each added two goals and an assist, and juniors Jay DiStefano (Huntington/Harborfields) and Pat Hayes (Mastic/Eastport South Manor) and sophomore Eric Richards (Skaneateles) netted two goals apiece.
Junior Neal Hopps (Akwesasne/Massena) contributed a goal and two assists. Senior Tom Burke (Massapequa) recorded one goal and one assist and junior Zack Mulvaney (Deferiet/Carthage) and sophomore Sean Davern (Irondequoit) each scored a goal. Senior Brandon Misiaszek (New Hartford) registered his 100th career point with an assist. DeLuca also won 11-of-13 faceoffs and collected five ground balls. Freshman goalie Mike Kaminski (Sayville) made eight saves, allowing five goals in 52 minutes, 48 seconds of action before giving way to sophomore Kyle Gaebel (Deferiet/Carthage), who stopped one shot and surrendered one goal over the final 7:12.
Sophomore Matt Schairer (Wrentham, MA/King Phillip) paced the Owls' offense with three goals and an assist. Freshman Taylor Jette (Simsbury, CT) contributed two goals and an assist, sophomore Griffin Meehan (Simsbury, CT) scored a goal, freshman Jonathan Rodrick (Plaistow, NH/Timberlane) chipped in with two assists and sophomore James Galloway (Simsbury, CT) recorded one assist. Freshman goalie Jason Lesser (Brewster) turned aside 12 shots.
After Hayes opened the scoring for Cortland at 11:10 of the first quarter, Meehan and Schairer netted back-to-back scores to give the Owls their only lead of the game, 2-1, at the 2:31 mark. Burke scored with less than a minute remaining in the quarter and the teams were tied 2-all.
The Red Dragons took control of the game by outscoring the Owls, 6-0, in the second quarter. Tota and DeLuca scored early in the quarter and Cortland owned a 4-2 lead. With the game still tight, the Red Dragons went on a scoring binge with four goals in the final 1:41 of the quarter. DiStefano sandwiched a pair of goals, the second coming just six seconds before the half, around scores from Hayes and Krol.
The Red Dragons eventually extended their lead to 13-2 with the first five goals of the third quarter as five diferent players found the back of the net. Jette finally ended Keene State's 27:19 scoring drought off Rodrick's assist at 5:12 of the third. Davern, however, answered just nine seconds later and Tota followed with a score to push Cortland's lead to 15-3. Schairer closed out the quarter with goals at 2:56 and 2:50 and Cortland held a 15-5 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
DeLuca, Wright and Mulvaney each tallied goals to start the fourth as Cortland's lead grew to 18-5. Jette completed the scoring with his second of the game at the 4:02 mark.