Oneonta State vs. Ithaca
April 24, 2002
The Game Story:
Junior midfielder Brian Balash (Auburn, NY/Auburn) scored five goals and added one assist as Oneonta State defeated 11th ranked Ithaca College 16-9 this afternoon in men^s lacrosse action. The victory for the 19th ranked Red Dragons raises their overall record to 11-2 while the Bombers fall to 7-4.

The score was tied 2-2 midway through the opening quarter before Oneonta closed the final five minutes with three unanswered goals to take a 5-2 advantage. Senior Matt Puerta (Hicksville, NY/Hicksville), who finished the game with four goals, tallied two of his three in the quarter during the closing run. Ithaca^s two goals were scored by junior Dennis Juleff (Australia/Albany Creek) and freshman Brian Weil (Amherst, NY/Amherst).

At the start of the second quarter Ithaca was penalized for three minutes for an illegal stick which allowed the Red Dragons an opportunity to add to their lead. The Red Dragons took the opportunity and broke the game wide open with four scores to take a commanding 9-2 lead. Balash registered three straight goals in a span of 1:30 including one extra-man goal. Oneonta kept the attack going for the rest of the quarter and went into the break with a 12-4 lead. In the third quarter, the Red Dragons opened the scoring at the 13:33 mark with an extra-man goal by senior Mike Massari (Shoreham, NY/Centereach). The Bombers scored the next two to cut the lead to 13-6 on goals by Weil and sophomore Scott Guerra (Liverpool, NY/Cicero-N. Syracuse). Junior Dan Bakke (Floral Park, NY/Floral Park) tallied a late goal for the Red Dragons to give them a 14-6 lead at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter Ithaca outscored Oneonta by a 4-1 margin, but it wasn^t enough as their final goal came at the 4:19 mark. Juleff tallied two goals in the quarter including an extra-man goal while junior Nick Mayer (Old Field, NY/Ward Melville) and sophomore Anthony Brown (Watertown, NY/Watertown) each added one goal each. Oneonta will next be in action this coming Saturday when they host Cortland in the regular season finale for both teams. The added importance of this game is it^s for the top seed in the SUNYAC Tournament that begins next Wednesday. Cortland is currently 6-0 in conference play and Oneonta is 5-1 and, with a win on Saturday for Oneonta, they will overtake Cortland for first place in the SUNYAC.