April 5, 2014

Cortland Rallies Late, Fights Off Plattsburgh

from press release

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Junior Matt Rakoczy (Clifton Park/Albany Academy) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal with four minutes, 44 seconds remaining as the nationally eighth-ranked Cortland men's lacrosse team earned an 11-10 come-from-behind victory versus Plattsburgh Saturday afternoon in SUNYAC action at the Stadium Complex. The Red Dragons improved to 8-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference with their third one-goal win of the season, while the Cardinals fell to 8-3 and 1-1.

Rakoczy finished with three goals, and sophomore Zach Hopps (Akwesasne/Massena) tallied three goals and one assist to become the 49th player in program history to reach 100 career points. Senior Joe Slavik (Binghamton/Seton Catholic) netted a pair of goals to become the 22nd player in school history to hit 100 for his career. Junior Benjamin Dunlavey (Elmira/Corning East) had one goal and one assist, senior Mike Cummings (Syracuse/East Syracuse Minoa) and junior Billy Davis (Manhasset) each scored once and junior Mike Cantelli (Holmdel, NJ) recorded a career-high five assists.

Junior goalie Scott Tota (Webster/Webster Schroeder) made eight saves, including five in the second half. Davis won 4-of-6 faceoffs, seniors Stephen Burke (Yorktown) and Fred Mase (Levittown/Division Avenue) collected four ground balls each and junior Patrick Brown (Camillus/West Genesee) caused three turnovers.

Sophomore Brendan Damm (Montauk/East Hampton) led Plattsburgh's offense with five goals. Junior Jack Felter (Binghamton/Broome C.C.) scored twice, senior Tim Lawrence (Kings Park) had one goal and two assists, and senior Tom Duggan (Levittown/NYIT) and junior James Read (Miller Place) netted one goal apiece. Senior Robbie Ashlaw (North Syracuse/SUNY Potsdam) and sophomore Matt Renko (Scotia/Scotia-Glenville) each contributed two assists. Senior goalie Andrew Hauk (Sackets Harbor/Lycoming College) registered 12 saves. Freshman Joe Eiseman (Farmingville/Sachem East) won 12-of-17 faceoffs, Lawrence recorded five ground balls and senior Charlie Dullea (Brasher Falls/St. Lawrence Central) caused five turnovers.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than three minutes into the game as Duggan opened the scoring at 14:16 and Damm netted back-to-back goals at 13:29 and 12:08. Slavik's man-up goal at 3:26 put Cortland on the scoreboard before Dunlavey made it a 3-2 game at the 1:08 mark. Plattsburgh pushed its lead to 8-3 late in the first half by scoring five of the first goals of the second quarter. Felter scored at 14:01, and Lawrence followed with his goal at 11:50. Rakoczy buried a man-up goal for Cortland and the Cardinals led 5-3 at the 8:01 mark. Plattsburgh answered with three goals in a four-minute span, one each from Damm, Read and Felter, and the Cardinals led 8-3 with 3:43 left before the half. The Red Dragons responded with a three-goal run to close the quarter. Cummings scored at 1:57, and Cantelli set up a pair of goals by Hopps at 1:31 and five seconds before the break to make it an 8-6 game.

Damm and Rakoczy traded goals in the third quarter, and Plattsburgh owned a 9-7 advantage heading to the final 15 minutes of play. Slavik scored at 13:38 to pull Cortland within 9-8, and Davis tied the score just 16 seconds later with his first goal of the season. Damm gave the Cardinals back the lead with his fifth of the game at 12:48, but Hopps netted his third goal at 6:15 to tie the score at 10-all. Cortland won the ensuing faceoff and Cantelli eventually found Rakoczy, who gave Cortland it's first lead of the game with a shot from 15 yards out at the 4:44 mark.

After Plattsburgh won the faceoff, Cortland forced a turnover with just over three minutes remaining to set up a flurry of events that led to a tense finish. On Cortland's clear attempt, the Cardinals took a two-minute non-releasable penalty and a one-minute non-releasable penalty with 2:56 to go. The Red Dragons held possession for more than two minutes, eventually calling their second timeout of the quarter with 40 seconds on the clock. While Cortland attempted to burn the final seconds, Dullea caused a turnover and collected the ground ball behind Plattsburgh's cage with 28 seconds remaining. The Cardinals successfully cleared the ball and called timeout with nine seconds on the clock. Coming out of the timeout, Read had one shot to tie the game, but his low attempt from 15 yards out on the left side was denied by Tota just before the final horn.

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