CORTLAND, N.Y. – Nine different players scored goals as the Cortland men's lacrosse team earned a 13-9 victory versus Geneseo in the championship game of the 2019 SUNYAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament Saturday afternoon at the Stadium Complex.
With the win, the Red Dragons improved to 14-4 on the season and earned their 26th conference title and 19th consecutive NCAA Div. III playoff berth. The Knights finished the season at 8-10.
Junior Terrence Haggerty (Centerport/Harborfields) led Cortland with five points on two goals and three assists. Senior Dean Riley (Homer) tallied two goals and one assist, while sophomore Brandon Stiles (Mastic/Eastport-South Manor) and freshman Dante Yacavone each netted two goals.
Senior Alex Waelder (Syracuse/Corcoran) recorded one goal and two assists, senior Joey Panariello (Islip) and junior Corey McMahon (Lindenhurst/St. John the Baptist) chipped in with one goal and one assist apiece and junior Tristan Moreno (Clarkstown/Clarkstown North) and freshman Troy Morris (Long Beach) added one goal for the Red Dragons.
Freshman goalie Marc Esposito (West Babylon) made four saves and collected two ground balls. Junior Brian Williams (Holtsville/Sachem East), the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, won 16-of-23 faceoffs and scooped up 12 ground balls giving him a single-season school record of 178 on the season. Williams surpassed the old record of 174 established by Pat Baldwin in the 2016 season. Sophomore Brandon Croteau (Bayport/Bayport-Blue Point) secured five ground balls, and freshman Justin Wainwright (Homer) collected four ground balls.
Junior Dillon Rogers (Liverpool) paced Geneseo with three goals. Sophomore James Pratt (East Fishkill/John Jay) tallied two goals and two assists, sophomore Tim Fallo (Mohegan Lake/Lakeland) recorded two goals and one assist and sophomore Cameron Chiodo (Greenlawn/John H. Glenn) and freshman Jake Steffen (Roslyn) each contributed one goal and one assist.
Junior goalie Tyler Wetzel (Fairport) registered 12 saves and three ground balls in 58:55. Junior Bryce Kelly (Mendon/Aquinas), who received the Elite 20 Award after the game, played the final 1:05 without facing a shot on goal. Freshman Ryan McMullen (Stony Brook/Ward Melville) won six faceoffs and scooped up four ground balls. Pratt and freshman Lucas Kollmer (Centerport/Harborfields) secured three ground balls each.
Defense dominated the first half as Cortland held a 5-2 lead at the break. The Red Dragons went ahead, 2-0, with goals from Panariello and Stiles before Rogers and Fallo tied the game at the 4:56 mark of the opening quarter with back-to-back goals. Waelder gave Cortland the lead for good with his goal 56 seconds before the end of the quarter. McMahon made it a 4-2 score 1:20 into the second quarter, and neither team scored again until Moreno's goal with 1:04 on the clock.
The third quarter featured nine goals with the Red Dragons holding a 5-4 edge to take a 10-6 lead into the final quarter. Five different players netted goals for Cortland, while four different Knights scored for Geneseo. Fallo cut the Cortland lead to 10-7 at 12:43 of the fourth, but Cortland took what seemed a comfortable 13-7 advantage with 2:34 to play on a three-goal run fueled by a goal and two assists by Haggerty.
Rogers scored his third of the game at 2:14, and Pratt tallied a man-up goal at 1:26 to make it a 13-9 score. On Pratt's goal, Cortland took a one-minute penalty giving the Knights another man-up opportunity and possession. After two wide shots, Cortland was awarded possession and worked a good clear, burning most of the remaining clock until a late turnover gave the ball back to Geneseo just before the final horn.
Michael Van Bommel, Plattsburgh
Kevin O'Donnell, Oswego
James Pratt, Geneseo
Tim Fallo, Geneseo
Jack Crowley, Geneseo
Alex Waelder, Cortland
Dominick Natale, Cortland
Justin Wainwright, Cortland
Terrence Haggerty, Cortland
Brandon Croteau, Cortland
Brian Williams, Cortland (MVP)
Cortland 13, Geneseo 9
Team 1-2-3-4 Final
Geneseo 2-0-4-3 9
Cortland 3-2-5-3 13
Geneseo: Dillon Rogers 3-0, James Pratt 2-2, Tim Fallo 2-1, Jake Steffen 1-1, Cameron Chiodo 1-1, Jack Centore 0-1, Nick Palmer 0-1
Cortland: Terrence Haggerty 2-3, Dean Riley 2-1, Brandon Stiles 2-0, Dante Yacavone 2-0, Alex Waelder 1-2, Corey McMahon 1-1, Joey Panariello 1-1, Troy Morris 1-0, Tristan Moreno 1-0
Geneseo: Tyler Wetzel, 12 saves (13 GA in 58:55), Bryce Kelly, 0 saves (0 GA in 1:05)
Cortland: Marc Esposito, 4 saves (9 GA in 60:00)
Shots: Cortland 39, Geneseo 33
Ground Balls: Cortland 38, Geneseo 28
Turnovers: Geneseo 22, Cortland 21
Caused Turnovers: Geneseo 9, Cortland 5
Clears: Cortland 20-of-23, Geneseo 20-of-28
Faceoffs Won: Cortland 17, Geneseo 8
Penalties: Cortland 5-4:00, Geneseo 4-2:30
Extra-Man Offense: Geneseo 2-5, Cortland 1-3
Records after game: Cortland (Red Dragons) 14-4; Geneseo (Knights) 8-10