No. 15 St. John Fisher Hangs on to Defeat Hartwick

ONEONTA, NY Hartwick College's men's lacrosse team came up two goals short of taking down nationally 15th ranked and unbeaten St. John Fisher on Saturday at Wright Stadium. The Cardinals took the lead for good in the second quarter and hung on late for the 11-9 victory. Hartwick falls to 3-4 overall and 0o-2 in the Empire 8. Fisher improves to 9-0 and 2-0 in E8 play.

Junior Dave Aitchison (Farmingdale, NY/N. Massapequa) powered the Hartwick attack with four goals and an assist, including two fourth-quarter tallies that brought the Hawks to within two. Senior Brandon Wilk (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough) added three goals for the Hawks and Joe Shields (Loudonville, NY/Shaker) and Steve Kuron (Wantagh, NY/Wantagh) scored one goal apiece.

Fisher's Ryan Schmidt, Chris Schmidt, and Dave Malone combined for seven goals and three assists on the day.

The Hawks came out flying in the first quarter of play as they opened up a 3-1 advantage on the visitors. Fisher tallied in the opening minute but Aitchison tied the game 6:14 later triggering a three-goal spurt in a 3:35 span. Fisher responded with a run of its own scoring three times in a minute and 28 seconds to retake the lead 4-3 at the end of the quarter.

Hartwick tied it on a Kuron tally with just over 11 minutes remaining before halftime and the game remained even for close to nine minutes. The Cardinals took the lead for good with 2:49 showing on the clock as Chris Schmidt tallied and 1:25 later Kyle Denhoff extended the edge to two at the half, 6-4.

Fisher opened up its biggest lead, 8-4, after two goals in the first five minutes of the third quarter before Shields and Aitchison scored back-to-back goals for Hartwick to cut the lead to 8-6 heading into the final stanza.

Chris and Ryan Schmidt scored to open the fourth and the Cardinals led by four with under seven minutes remaining. Aitchison answered for 'Wick with an unassisted strike at the 6:45 mark and pulled his team within two with another goal with 4:20 left.

Fisher would get some breathing room with a goal with just over two minutes to go but Wilk tallied 1:06 later to make it an 11-9 game. The Cardinals were whistled for their 11th penalty of the game with 44 seconds left giving 'Wick a chance to get within a goal, but a Hawk shot was blocked and recovered by the Cardinals who cleared and put the game away.

The Hawks outshot Fisher by a 46-34 margin for the game. The Cardinals edged 'Wick in ground balls 39-36 and held the Hawks to just 1 for 10 in man-up situations.

Hartwick's Mike Morrison (Holbrook, NY/Sachem East) grabbed five ground balls to lead the team. Aitchison and Wilk each grabbed four. Kevin Miller (Wantagh, NY/Wantagh) and Alex Skvarch (Syracuse, NY/Marcellus) each tied for a game-high with three caused turnovers. Goalie Ryan Twardowski (Emmaus, PA/S. Lehigh) made 10 saves in the 'Wick cage. Fisher's Jon Cortina stopped 14 Hartwick shots.

The Hawks are back at Wright Stadium on Wednesday as they host Stevens at 4:00 p.m.


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