No. 8 Stevens Stops Bombers to Claim First Empire 8 Title

That stout Stevens defense caused 11 of the 18 turnovers by Ithaca and scooped up more groundballs, 23-19. The Ducks also forced the Bombers to fail on five of 19 clear attempts, while Stevens was unsuccessful once in 16 tries.

The Ducks would also take more shots than Ithaca in the contest, 37-24.

Stevens will await to see who, where and when it will play in the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament after tomorrow night's Selection Show.

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Hoboken, N.J. The second-seeded Ithaca College men's lacrosse team (12-6) suffered a 10-7 setback to top-seeded and ninth-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology (16-2) on Saturday in the Empire 8 championship game.

The Ducks posted a 3-1 advantage in the first and built upon it for a 5-2 lead minutes into the second quarter, but the Bombers fired off three consecutive scores to even the score at 5-5 17 seconds before intermission.

Stevens rewrote its two-score advantage in the third before Ithaca crawled within one, 7-6. The Ducks scored three of the game's final four goals to tally its first Empire 8 championship title.

Senior Tom Mongelli (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) led the Bombers with three points on two goals and an assist. Classmate Devin Weinshank (Long Beach/Long Beach) also tallied twice, while senior Billy LaPerch (Katonah/John Jay-Cross River) and sophomore Jacob Long (Ft. Washington, Pa./Upper Dublin) added one goal and one assist each. Senior Jay Lucas (Bedford Hills/Fox Lane) also netted one.

Senior Brian DiBetta (Katonah/John Jay) won five faceoffs for Ithaca, freshman Matt Greenblatt (North Potomac, Md./Thomas S. Wootton) four and sophomore Brandon Henne (Port Washington/Port Washington) three. Greenblatt had a Bomber-best four ground balls. DiBetta and Henne chipped in three.

Defensively, seniors Chris Duncan (Denver, Colo./Regis Jesuit) and Will Kraus (Skaneateles/Skaneateles/Salisbury School) forced two turnovers apiece, while senior goalie Brendan Green (Pittsford/Pittsford Mendon) made 14 stops in cage for the Blue & Gold.

Stevens outshot Ithaca, 37-24, and held a 23-19 edge in ground balls, though the Bombers won 12 faceoffs to the Ducks' nine.

Mongelli used a Pat Slawta (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) assist to open all scoring two minutes into the game, but the Ducks responded with three consecutive scores. Lucas pulled Ithaca within one, 3-2, on a James Manilla (Fairport/Fairport) feed at 1:45, but Stevens tallied with eight seconds lingering in the first.

The Ducks added another at 12:19 of the second for a 5-2 gap. Mongelli capitalized on a LaPerch assist and LaPerch scored on a DiBetta dish to again creep within striking distance. Long found Weinshank with 17 ticks on the clock to knot action 5-5 at the half.

Stevens held Ithaca to two scores in the latter half and rattled off five of their own to seal the victory. The Ducks took a 7-5 advantage at 7:35 before Long made the most of a man-up opportunity to make it a one-goal game at 5:13.

The host squad bridged the third and fourth quarters with a pair of scores for a 9-6 lead. Mongelli found the crosse of Weinshank for Ithaca's final goal at 11:07. The Ducks put one away at 9:20 to finalize the scoring, 10-7.

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