Seventh-Ranked Cortland Holds off Nazareth

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Seventh-ranked Cortland held a pair of six-goal leads in the second half before host Nazareth rallied to trim its deficit to 11-9 midway through the fourth quarter. The Red Dragons went on to defeat the Golden Flyers 12-9 in the non-conference lacrosse game on Wednesday. Sophomore Troy Haefele tallied a game-high three goals.

With the loss, Nazareth falls to 6-8 overall. With the victory, Cortland improves to 11-3 overall. The Red Dragons entered the contest with a five-game winning streak. Cortland's only losses have come to top-ranked RIT, second-ranked Stevenson, and 10th-ranked Lynchburg.

After the Red Dragons took a pair of six-goal leads early in the third quarter on goals by Matt Savlov and Matt Rakoczy, freshman Nick Arnold, senior Brian Wright, and sophomore Troy Haefele scored for the Golden Flyers. Arnold bullied his way through the left side of the Cortland defense and got his shot off before being knocked down. Wright and Haefele each added unassisted goals. Junior Drew Simoneau had Nazareth's first goal of the quarter after winning the faceoff following the Red Dragons' eighth goal of the game.

Following a Cortland goal by Hunter Osborne, senior Collin Clark answered with an unassisted goal less than four minutes into the fourth quarter to bring the Golden Flyers back within three goals. Clark's shot was from the left side of the goal. Fred Mase reclaimed Cortland's four-goal lead just over five minutes into the fourth.

Troy Haefele tallied a pair of goals to bring the Golden Flyers back to within 11-9. Haefele's second goal of the game followed a ground ball grabbed by Fanning. Fanning earned the assist. With 7:02 to play in regulation, Haefele notched his third goal of the game. Haefele's goal was assisted by Fallo on the man-up opportunity as he got the shot off from the low slot just before he was hit.

With 5:03 to play in the contest, Cortland's leading scorer with 21 goals, Zach Hopps, scored his first of the game to end the Nazareth scoring run and secure the Red Dragons' victory.

Rakoczy opened the scoring with an unassisted tally 5:15 into regulation, which was followed by a transition goal by Savlov in the final minute of the first. Cortland's Scott Tota made four saves in the opening quarter to keep Nazareth off the scoreboard.

Less than two minutes into the second stanza, sophomore Matt O'Neill put the Golden Flyers on the board with a man-up goal after he received a quick pass from junior Will Fallo. The man-up opportunity was set-up by a long pass by goalie Scott Brown, who spotted an open attackman on the clear. Instead of allowing the pass to be completed, the Cortland defender took a slashing penalty.

Eric Ohman stretched Cortland's lead to 3-1 after forcing a Nazareth turnover on its clear attempt. The Golden Flyers drew a three-minute man-up opportunity on Cortland's faceoff specialist Pat Baldwin. Fallo had a shot saved, then Nazareth took three penalties toward the end of the man-up chance, which prevented the Golden Flyers from taking advantage of Baldwin's penalty.

In the last four minutes of the half, Mike Cummings, Conor Scavone, and Mike Cantelli combined for four goals to extend Cortland's lead to 7-1. The shots from Cummings and Cantelli, on his first goal, were initially saved, but the ball trickled over the goal line behind Brown. Cantelli's second goal was scored with six seconds to play in the half. Despite having only six seconds left in the period, Simoneau won the ensuing faceoff and passed to classmate Kyle Fanning who buried a shot inside the Cortland post. Fanning's goal was with 1.8 to play in the period.

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