No. 2 Red Dragons Escape Brockport in SUNYAC Semifinals

CORTLAND, N.Y. Second-ranked Cortland used a six-goal run in the second half to overtake Brockport and went on to an 11-9 win Friday afternoon in the SUNYAC semifinals at the Stadium Complex.

The Red Dragons improved to 16-1 on the season and advanced to their 14th straight SUNYAC title game. Cortland faces third-seeded Buffalo St., which defeated second-seeded Fredonia St., 16-13, in the day's second semifinal, Saturday at noon. The Golden Eagles dropped to 10-5 with the loss.

Junior Maria Di Fato (Camillus/West Genesee) led the Red Dragons with six points on three goals and three assists, while senior Lindsay Abbott (South Onondaga/Onondaga Central) tallied three goals and an assist. Senior Erin Kollar (East Islip), juniors Gina Campese (East Syracuse/East Syracuse-Minoa) and Natalie Melaniff (Wantagh) and freshmen Marilyn Farrell (Fayetteville/Fayetteville-Manlius) and Chelsea Martin (Ogdensburg/Ogdensburg Free Academy) each netted a goal.

Junior goalie Shauna Hutchinson (Islip Terrace/East Islip) registered three saves. Di Fato added five ground balls and two caused turnovers. Farrell also collected three draw controls and three ground balls, and Abbott and junior Jamie Flood (East Islip) recorded three draws apiece.

Senior Karen Bianchi (Syracuse/West Genesee) paced Brockport with three goals. Junior Kaila Maguire (Potsdam) and freshman Katie Sullivan (Baldwinsville/C.W. Baker) each scored twice, Senior Dayna Piraino (Syracuse/Henninger) had one goal and one assist, junior Emily Zartman (Canandaigua) scored a goal and freshman Nina Tassone (Liverpool) chipped in with two assists.

Freshman goalie Hannah O'Connor (Syracuse/Westhill) stopped five shots. Freshman Colleen Hathaway (Watertown/South Jefferson) recorded four caused turnovers, junior Sarah Brown (Syracuse/West Genesee) collected four ground balls and Zartman added three ground balls.

Campese and Di Fato gave Cortland a 2-0 lead with goals at 25:04 and 23:28, but the Golden Eagles answered with scores from Maguire at 18:41 and Sullivan four minutes later to tie the game at 2-2. Martin and Abbott sandwiched goals around Piraino's score to make it 4-3 in favor of the hosts, but Brockport ended the half with three consecutive goals for a 6-4 lead. Sullivan scored a 3:52 and Tassone set up back-to-back goals by Bianchi at 5:39 and 2:19.

Melaniff and Maguire traded goals in the opening minutes of the second half before the Red Dragons went on their decisive six-goal run. Abbott pulled Cortland to within 7-6 at 18:07, and Di Fato tied the game at 15:12. Farrell then gave the lead back to Cortland with an unassisted goal at 12:07. Goals by Di Fato, Kollar and Abbott boosted Cortland's lead to 11-7 with 5:17 on the clock.

The Golden Eagles made a late run, started with Zartman's goal at 3:58. After Cortland won the ensuing draw control, the Red Dragons turned the ball over twice with the second offense leading to Bianchi's third goal of the game with 1:21 remaining to make it an 11-9 game.

The Red Dragons won the next draw but turned the ball over again with just over a minute remaining. As Brockport attempted its clear, however, Farrell forced a turnover and retrieved the ground ball with just under a minute to play. The Red Dragons were able to control possession and run out the clock to secure the win.


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