Cortland State vs. Springfield
May 9, 2009
The Game Story:
CORTLAND, N.Y. Freshman Mike Tota (Webster/Webster Schroeder) scored four goals as the nationally fourth-ranked Cortland men's lacrosse team built a 12-5 halftime lead and held off a late charge to defeat Springfield, 15-12, Saturday afternoon in an NCAA Division III second-round playoff game. The Red Dragons improved to 16-2 on the season and advanced to the national quarterfinals where they will host ninth-ranked Western New England College, a 12-9 winner at Tufts, on Wednesday, May 13, at a time to be determined. Cortland defeated the Bears, 15-7, in the season-opener for both teams earlier this season. The Pride's season ended at 12-7.

Senior Joey Morgan (Putnam Valley) added three goals and an assist for the Red Dragons, while sophomore Jay DiStefano (Huntington/Harborfields) recorded a team-high five points on two goals and three assists. Juniors Tom Burke (Massapequa) and Brian Krol (Niskayuna) each scored twice, and sophomore Chris DeLuca (Sayville) had a goal and an assist, won 15-of-22 faceoffs and collected nine ground balls. Junior Brandon Misiaszek (New Hartford) chipped in with a goal, and freshman Greg Wright (Irondequoit) contributed two assists. Senior goalie Matt Hipenbecker (Mountain Lakes, NJ) stopped eight shots to earn the win.

For the Pride, junior Kyle Gable (Somers, CT) tallied a season-high seven points on a season-best five goals and two assists. Senior Jake Beebe (Sudbury, MA) ended his career with five points on two goals and three assists. Sophomore Kyle Louer (Islip) scored twice, and junior Joe Macchi (Mahopac) and freshman Mike Delia (Wading River) each contributed a goal and an assist. Senior Ryan Thibodeau (Somers, CT) also scored a goal in the game. Senior goalie Tom Albano (Ridgewood, NJ) established a career high for saves with 22, eclipsing the mark of 20 set last season versus Cortland in the NCAA playoffs.

Misiaszek and Louer traded goals early in the first quarter before the Red Dragons strung together three straight goals, two from Krol, to grab a 4-1 lead at the five minute, 28 second mark. Gable stopped the run with a man-down goal off an assist from senior Pat Cavanaugh (Wayland, MA) at 4:32, but Morgan scored an unassisted goal just two seconds before the quarter ended and Cortland led, 5-2.

Tota pushed the lead to 6-2 with his second man-up goal of the game at 13:57 of the second, but Gable followed with a man-up goal at 11:14 and Beebe scored at 8:59 to pull the Pride to within 6-4. DiStefano answered 16 seconds later for Cortland before Macchi connected at 6:47 to make it a 7-5 game. Cortland then wasted little time in taking control of the game. Thirty-seven seconds after Macchi's score, Morgan started a five-goal run for the Red Dragons with back-to-back goals followed by scores from DeLuca, Burke and Tota.

Springfield cut into the lead with goals less than a minute apart to start the third quarter. Gable netted his third of the game at 11:38, then assisted Thibodeau's goal at 10:51 and Cortland led 12-7. DiStefano and Tota sandwiched goals around Gable's fourth goal of the game and the Red Dragons maintained a 14-8 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Neither team could find the back of the net though the first six and a half minutes of the fourth as Cortland held its six-goal lead. Louer finally broke through at 8:28, and after Beebe scored an unassisted goal at 5:45 and Delia connected off a feed from senior Jake Jones (Amherst, MA) at 4:48, the Pride had worked itself back to 14-11. Cortland won the ensuing faceoff but lost possession with just over two and a half minutes to play. The teams then traded turnovers until Hippenbecker stopped a weak shot at the 1:45 mark and initiated a successful clear.

Cortland couldn't hold possession and took a slashing penalty on Springfield's clear to put the Pride a man up with 40 seconds remaining. Gable converted 10 seconds later and the Pride still had life, down 14-12. DeLuca won the next faceoff, however, and the Red Dragons were able to add a quick strike from Burke eight seconds later to seal the win.

Cortland outshot Springfield, 49-30, had a 48-28 advantage in ground balls and won 20-of-29 faceoffs.