Stevens Tech vs. Elmira
April 16, 2008
The Game Story:
HOBOKEN, N.J. (April 16, 2008) – Senior attacker/midfielder R.J. Ancona won 76.9 percent (20-for-26) of the faceoffs and collected nine ground balls as the Stevens Institute of Technology men’s lacrosse team routed Elmira College by the final score of 18-4 during Senior Day on Wednesday at the De Baun Athletic Complex in Hoboken, N.J. Meanwhile, sophomore attacker Josh Holmes
and sophomore attacker/midfielder Alex Couture scored three goals apiece as the Ducks won their third game in a row to improve to 8-3 overall.

At 6-1 in the Empire 8, Stevens has assured itself of no worse than the No. 2 seed for the postseason tournament, which will begin Friday, April 25. As a result, the Ducks will have at least one home game in the playoffs. Stevens will have a chance to capture the Empire 8 regular-season title and secure the top seed with a win at 10th-ranked Ithaca College this Saturday at 1 p.m.

During Wednesday game against the Soaring Eagles (2-9, 1-5 Empire 8), the Ducks jumped out to a 6-2 lead after one period, led 10-2 at the break, and never looked back. A total of 12 different players scored goals for Stevens. Senior defender/long-stick midfielder Nick Daniello had two goals to go along with six ground balls and three caused turnovers. Sophomore midfielder Bobby Steinhauser also scored twice. Senior attacker John Dolny finished with three points on a goal and two assists.

Meanwhile, junior midfielder Eric Smith collected a goal and an assist. Freshman attacker Joey Simone chipped in with a pair of assists. Senior midfielder Frank Sorrentino, junior midfielder Matt Keating, junior midfielder Alex Heckman, sophomore attacker Daniel Prakopcyk, freshman midfielder Ian Burgess, and freshman midfielder Christopher Laurita all scored a goal for the Ducks.

Freshman goalkeeper Dave Decker played just over 40 minutes in net and made five saves. Senior goalie Corey Vaillancourt took over and made five stops in 17 minutes of action. Junior goalkeeper Burke Reynolds played the final two minutes in the cage.

As a unit, the five seniors on the Ducks – Ancona, Daniello, Dolny, Sorrentino, and Vaillancourt – combined for four goals, two assists, 22 ground balls, and five saves against Elmira. Over the course of the last four years, they have helped Stevens to an overall record of 51-5, which includes a 33-4 mark at home and a 29-1 conference record.

The Soaring Eagles were led by senior attacker Mike Szpiech (Hamilton, Ontario), who scored three goals. Freshman midfielder Martin O’Brien (West Springfield, Mass.) finished with a goal and an assist. Sophomore goalkeeper Geoffrey Lane (Pennington, N.J.) made 10 saves in 53 minutes of action.

Stevens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game as Heckman and Burgess both scored unassisted goals. After a tally by Szpiech, the Ducks scored three times in just over four minutes to extend the margin to 5-1. Leading 6-2 at the start of the second quarter, Stevens tallied four times in the period to open an eight-goal lead (10-2) at intermission. Two of those four goals came during a 27-second stretch in the final minute of the half as Prakopcyk and Steinhauser both scored. Steinhauser’s goal came with one second remaining in the quarter.

For the game, Stevens owned the advantage in shots (56-26) and ground balls (43-18). The Ducks were 15-for-20 (75 percent) in clearing attempts. Elmira converted on 71.4 percent (10-for-14) of its clears.

Saturday’s showdown between Stevens and Ithaca will be carried live by Ithaca College Radio at The Bombers are currently 11-2 on the year and 5-1 in the Empire 8. Last year, Ithaca won the regular-season title only to suffer a 16-14 loss to Nazareth College on its home field in the championship game.