March 26, 2012

Eleven different players scored goals as #3 Cortland team broke open a close game after one quarter and went on to defeat 17th-ranked Middlebury, 15-5, Tuesday night in non-conference action at the University at Albany.

Seniors Mike Tota and Greg Wright and sophomore Joe Slavik each recorded two goals and two assists for the Red Dragons (5-0), while sophomore Cody Consul scored twice and added an assist. Junior Tom Casey recorded a goal and an assist, and six other players netted one goal apiece, including sophomore Eric Ohman (Islip) and rookie Zach Brownlee and Benjamin Dunlavey, who each recorded his first career Cortland goal.

Junior goalie Mike Kaminski registered nine saves in 50 minutes, 31 seconds before giving way to sophomore Scott Tota, who made three saves over the final 9:29. Junior Nick Jarvis won 12-20 faceoffs and collected a team-high six ground balls.

Senior Tim Cahill (Glastonbury, Conn.) led Middlebury with three goals, junior Andrew Metros (Kings Point, N.Y.) and sophomore Bucky Pierce (Wilmington, Del.) each scored once, junior Mike Giordano (Ridgewood, N.J.) contributed three assists and senior Jack Balaban (Washington, D.C.) chipped in with one assist. Rookie Nate Gaudio (Cheshire, Conn.) turned aside 15 shots in 57:24, and Gabe Weissmann stopped one shot in 2:36. Brian Foster scooped up a game-high seven ground balls.

After Metros and Cahill gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead at the 6:38 mark of the first quarter, the Red Dragons answered with the final six goals of the first half to grab a 7-2 lead. Consul and Wright scored just 35 seconds apart late in the first quarter to make it a 3-2 game. Wright then assisted Tota's goal just past the midway point of the second quarter and freshman Nick Wolak upped the lead to 5-2 at 6:09 with an unassisted goal. Tota followed with assists on back-to-back man-up goals by Wright and Slavik and Cortland led 7-2 at the break.

The Red Dragons increased their lead to 10-3 after three quarters. Cortland senior Zack Mulvaney and Cahill traded man-up goals before Casey and Dunlavey scored at 8:48 and 29 seconds, respectively, to close the quarter. The Red Dragons sealed the win by outscoring Middlebury, 5-2, over the final 15 minutes of play as five different players registered a goal. 

Middlebury suffered its first NESCAC loss of the season as the Panthers fell by a score of 7-3 at Wesleyan. Senior Grant Covington picked up a career-high 17 saves and allowed just three goals to lead the Cardinals (4-1, 3-1) to the victory. The teams had met in Middletown a year ago as well with the Cardinals knocking off the Panthers, 9-8 in overtime.

Wesleyan jumped out to a 5-1 lead before the game was nine minutes old as sophomore Aidan Daniell found the net twice, opening the scoring just :53 in with a bouncer off a feed by sophomore Joe Porcelli. Just 1:01 later, senior Teddy Citrin made it 2-0, spinning in front from behind on the left to score his team-leading ninth goal of the season. When Porcelli and Daniell reversed scoring roles at 10:42, Wesleyan had a 3-0 advantage.  Each team scored twice to close out the first quarter as Middlebury got a pair of goals from rookie Chase Clymer (Katonah, N.Y.), who was playing just his second career game and got his first two career goals. Both were assisted by Giordano who made passes to the middle from the left side each time. Between the Clymer goals, Daniell got his second tally, upping his seasonal goal total to six and giving him a three-point afternoon, while sophomore Graham Macnab also hit the twine, assisted by senior John Froats. Clymer's second goal came on a man-advantage situation at 2:04 of the first period. There were only three penalties called in the well-played contest.

            Despite seven goals in the opening 12:56 of the game, only one goal was scored over the next 33:46, that coming from Pierce at 6:09 of the second quarter on a high shot after catching a pass from sophomore Quinn Cronan (Winchester, Mass.), making it a 5-3 game. Wesleyan ended its scoring drought at 13:18 of the fourth quarter when senior DJ Benatavitz rolled in front from behind the net on the left and put home a bouncer just inside the right post past Gaudio to give the Cardinals a three-goal cushion. Bernatavitz finished off the day's scoring with just 2:04 remaining as he bounced in a shot from the right side off a pass from senior Max Landow with Gaudio out of the net trying to double-team the ball in an attempt to gain possession.  They were the first goals of the season for Bernatavitz. Gaudio played well for Middlebury, making 11 saves in the contest.

After the Middlebury goal in the second period, Covington, whose previous high-save game came against Tufts in 2011 when he stopped 15 shots, held the Panthers scoreless for the final 36:09, making 10 of his 17 saves over the stretch.
• Men’s lacrosse record: 2-3
• Up next: 3/28 @ Hamilton, 3/31 @ Bowdoin