Cortland State vs. Ithaca
April 9, 2003
The Game Story:
CORTLAND, N.Y. ^ Sophomore Adam Hughes (North Syracuse/Cicero-North Syracuse) scored his only goal of the game 27 seconds into overtime as sixth-ranked Cortland rallied to defeat eighth-ranked Ithaca, 10-9, in a battle of nationally-rated Division III teams. The game was the first home night contest in school history for the Red Dragon men^s lacrosse program. Cortland (8-2) has won seven straight games. Ithaca is now 5-2.

Ithaca scored twice in a 41-second span to take a 9-7 fourth-quarter lead. Junior Scott Guerra (Liverpool/Cicero-North Syracuse) broke a 7-7 tie with 8:40 left in regulation and senior Morris Jemal (Cedarhurst/Lawrence) scored his team-high third goal of the game with 7:59 remaining. Cortland, however, drew within 9-8 on a goal by junior Andrew Roth (Ridgewood, NJ/Don Bosco Prep), off a feed by junior Mike Bryant (Hamburg/Frontier Central), with 6:41 left and tied the game on Bryant^s unassisted goal with 4:13 remaining. The Red Dragons had three shots to take the lead in the final 1:08 of regulation, the last a Hughes miss with 2.7 seconds left.

In the overtime, junior Mike Bryant (Hamburg/Frontier Central) won the faceoff, with sophomore Dan Mendelson (Massapequa Park/Farmingdale) controlling the ground ball. After a timeout, Hughes got the ball behind the Ithaca net, beat an Ithaca defender who slipped on the play, raced to his left around the cage and beat Ithaca goalie Ryan Martin (Amherst, MA/Amherst Regional) for the game-winner.

Ithaca took an early 2-0 lead on goals by sophomore Brett Huckle (Ithaca) and sophomore Matt Casey (Syracuse/Corcoran) in the game^s first 10 minutes. Cortland, which had nine different players account for its 10 goals, scored the next four goals to take a 4-2 lead. Sophomore Chris Soluri (Chaumont/General Brown) tallied an extra-man goal with 3:18 left in the period, followed by freshman Kyle Lambert^s (Brentwood) goal at the 2:44 mark and a Pultz goal with 1:40 left. Sophomore Justin Miller (Syosset) finished the run 1:14 into the second.

Ithaca answered with three consecutive goals in a three-minute span. Senior Dennis Juleff (Australia/Albany Creek) found the net with 9:07 left in the half, followed by a Brian Weil (Amherst) goal at 6:57 and a Huckle score with 6:12 remaining. Junior Josh Marksberry (Port Jefferson/Comsewogue) assisted on the Juleff and Huckle goals. Cortland knotted the game with 4:32 left in the half when senior Craig Degnan (Rockville Centre/South Side), who missed the previous five games due to injury, scored off a Hughes assist.

The Red Dragons took a 6-5 lead with 6:41 left in the third quarter on a goal by sophomore Jack Popper (Merrick/Bellmore JFK). Ithaca regained the lead on back-to-back goals by Jemal in the third quarter, and Degnan re-tied the game at 7-7 off a Bryant assist with 13:23 remaining in regulation. Degnan finished with two goals while Hughes and Bryant each had a goal and two assists. Senior goalie Steve Feltmann (Long Valley, NJ/West Morris Central) stopped 11 shots. For Ithaca, Jemal ended the game with three goals and an assist and Huckle scored twice. Martin made 13 saves, 10 in the first half.

Ithaca had won the previous four meetings between the schools, including a 10-9 win at home in last year^s NCAA Division III quarterfinals and a 6-5 triple overtime win, also at Ithaca, during the regular season last spring.