Cortland Starts Fast, Downs Springfield in NCAA Second Round

CORTLAND, N.Y. The eighth-ranked Cortland lacrosse team built a 14-4 lead early in the fourth quarter and went on to defeat 13th-ranked Springfield, 14-10, in the second round of the NCAA Div. III Tournament Saturday evening at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.

The Red Dragons won their 12th straight game and improved to 17-3 on the season, while the Pride fell to 15-4. Cortland advanced to face Tufts University, a 10-9 winner versus Endicott, in the national quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Senior Joe Slavik (Binghamton/Seton Catholic) led the Cortland offense with seven points on three goals and four assists. Junior Benjamin Dunlavey (Elmira/Corning East) also tallied three goals, junior Matt Rakoczy (Clifton Park/Albany Academy) and sophomore Zach Hopps (Akwesasne/Massena) recorded two goals and one assist each, and senior Mike Cummings (Syracuse/East Syracuse Minoa) netted a pair of goals. Senior Cody Consul (Webster/Webster Schroeder) and junior Patrick Brown (Camillus/West Genesee) scored one goal apiece and four others contribued one assist.

Junior goalie Scott Tota (Webster/Webster Schroeder) made nine saves in 51 minutes, 16 seconds before giving way to senior Nick Costabile (New Fairfield, CT), who stopped two shots over the final 8:44. Sophomore Pat Baldwin (Alpharetta, GA) won 11 of 21 faceoffs and collected five ground balls. Seniors Stephen Burke (Yorktown) and Fred Mase (Levittown/Division Avenue) also registered five ground balls for the Red Dragons.

Senior Ryon Lynch (Frederick, MD/Governor Thomas Johnson) paced Springfield with five goals and two assists. Junior Dylan Sheehan (Massapequa) had one goal and three assists and senior Kevin Freeman (Minisink/Minisink Valley) chipped in with one goal and one assist. Senior Ryan Murphy (Mansfield, MA), junior Bryce Serriello (Cape Cod, MA/American International) and sophomore Brendan Boss (West Springfield, MA) each contributed a goal, while senior Devin Abad (East Longmeadow, MA) added two assists.

Senior goalie Connor Nash (Burnt Hills) registered eight saves for the Pride. Senior Brandon Fernandez (Warwick/Warwick Valley) won 16 of 27 faceoffs and collected a game-high eight ground balls, and senior Matt Giannelli (Norwich, CT/Norwich Free Academy) secured four ground balls.

Serriello opened the scoring at 13 minutes, 19 seconds with an unassisted goal before Cortland tallied the next two goals for a 2-1 lead after 15 minutes. Slavik assisted on Rakoczy's score at 6:25 and Dunlavey's goal at 1:32. Cummings and Dunlavey made it a 4-1 game early in the second quarter, but Boss cut the lead to 4-2 at the 10:48 mark. The Red Dragons answered with four of the next five goals to take an 8-3 lead into halftime. Slavik scored twice and Rakoczy picked up a goal and an assist .

The Red Dragons appeared to have taken control of the game by out scoring the Pride, 4-0, in the third quarter for a 12-3 advantage. Slavik collected a goal and an assist, Hopps scored twice and Cummings netted a goal during the quarter. After Murphy opened the fourth quarter with a goal, Consul and Dunlavey scored back-to-back goals to give Cortland its largest lead of the game at 14-4 with 8:44 remaining.

From that point, Springfield netted six straight goals, four coming from Lynch, to pull to within 14-10 with 1:33 on the clock. The rally finally ended with Cortland gaining possession late and running out the clock to seal the victory


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