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April 3, 2008

 

Red Dragons dominate Nazareth

Heath, Hyde reach scoring milestones

Dragons

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High grad Mark Kanellis (5) of Nazareth College pokes Chris Dutkowsky (22) of SUNY Cortland during Wednesday’s match-up of nationally-ranked teams. Dutkowsky scored twice in the Red Dragons’ 21-5 romp.

By ALAN BUTLER
Sports Editor

Adam Hyde was just voicing the obvious.
After this lacrosse carnage was complete, after SUNY Cortland men put a 21-5 smack down on a Nazareth College team that was simply overmatched on this well chilled yet sunshine filled Wednesday afternoon, the senior midfielder offered this simple statement.
“The object of the game is to score goals,” noted the team captain, though even he admitted to being surprised at the 21 tallies piled up by the Red Dragons.
“We’re just trying to jump on people and score a lot of goals, which is what we did today,” added Hyde, who became the latest Red Dragon to reach 100 career points while contributing a couple of goals and an assist to this rout. He now has 84 goals and 17 assists since arriving from West Seneca East High School.
Hyde opened the scoring in this non-conference clash of nationally ranked squads, being in the right place at the right time to collect an errant pass and fire a shot into the Golden Flyers goal. That was the first of nine unanswered goals in the opening half that kept this outing devoid of any drama, which was also a surprise considering these two proud programs have put together some memorable confrontations in recent seasons.
The Cortland advantage was 10-2 by halftime, and grew to 16-2 in the third quarter when attackman Ryan Heath scored his 100th career goal. The senior sparkplug from Baldwinsville finished with a handful of goals and the same number of assists as this Cortland team ranked fifth in the nation improved to 6-1.
“Ryan Heath had a big game. He does everything for us,” admired teammate Hyde after Heath put together a career best 10-point performance and became the 16th Red Dragon to ever reach the 100-goal mark.
Also admirable is how Cortland has now overwhelmed back-to-back nationally ranked foes since losing in overtime at Ithaca College back on May 22.
This past Saturday, the Red Dragons scored the opening seven goals and breezed to a 13-4 victory over a Cabrini College squad that arrived at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex ranked sixth in the nation. It was more of the same in this Nazareth visit, the Golden Flyers ranked 11th in this week’s Division III national poll.
“Senior leadership,” is what second year head coach Steve Beville pointed to as being responsible for these quick Cortland getaways. “We’re very fortunate to have a lot of seniors who have played in a lot of big games. They are a motivated group who won’t allow these guys not to be ready to play.”
THAT IS WHY this homecoming turned into such a disappointment for a pair of former Cortland High stickers — Golden Flyers seniors Steve Cutia and Mark Kanellis. They were on Nazareth squads that nipped Cortland 7-6 last year and 8-7 in overtime two seasons ago, that trimmed the Red Dragons 14-7 during their freshmen season.
Though Cutia had a goal and an assist on attack, though Kanellis hustle was on display throughout as the team captain battled on as a defensive midfielder, a Nazareth team that starts five freshmen never put a dent in Cortland confidence.
No wonder stunned Nazareth coach Rob Randall was intent on getting his humbled squad on the bus and back to campus instead of discussing a stunning loss to left his team — which had been upset at Utica College to go along with a one-goal loss to Geneseo in two previous setbacks — 5-3 on the season.
“We were upset after underachieving in the Ithaca game and that gave this team a sense of motivation for the past two games. Now we feel we’re ready to take on the SUNYAC,” said Beville, the Red Dragons to begin conference play when Plattsburgh visits Saturday in a 12:30 p.m. start.
Cortland won the regular season SUNY Athletic Conference title last year, lost to Geneseo in the playoff title game, snuck into the NCAA Division III tournament as a wild card team and then just missed defending the Division III title it won in 2006 — a remarkable tournament run ending in a loss to Salisbury in finals.
The Red Dragons certainly looked like champions in the early going as Nazareth had all sorts of trouble clearing the ball, stringing together passes or keeping tabs on Cortland shooters. The Red Dragons worked themselves free to fire 43 shots at starting senior goalie Anthony Desimone.
While Heath had a big game, Billy Fuchs, Joey Morgan, Chris Dutkowsky and Brandon Misiaszek each scored twice for the Red Dragons.
WITH THE DEFENSE forcing turnovers, with senior Josh Cittandino and freshman Chris DeLuca having 18-of-29 faceoff success, Cortland carried the play from the start. They needed just over five minutes to post the first five goals of the game on the first five shots taken.
A mere 38 seconds after Hyde’s opening goal, Heath scored after the legwork of senior midfielder Keith Greene created a fast break chance. Heath then snuck unnoticed in front of the Nazareth goal to turn a Fuchs pass into a 3-0 lead at 9:07, Cittadino won the ensuing faceoff and ended up circling in front of the crease for a goal at 8:48. After more faceoff success, Fuchs connected off a Heath assist at 8:41.
The Cortland lead was still 5-0 when sophomore midfielder Dutkowsky, Fuchs, Hyde and junior midfielder Morgan all added to the lead with second quarter goals. Nazareth finally struck with 3:18 left before halftime, Cutia picking up the assist on the first of two goals by senior midfielder Aaron Civalier.
Up 12-2 at the break, Cortland then scored the first six goals to start the second half — including two apiece by sophomore attackman Misiaszek and Heath — to put this game out of reach. Heath’s 100th goal came pulling the trigger on a fast break created by a Cittadino faceoff win.
Cortland starters got the rest of the day off, and in the fourth quarter Red Dragon defensive specialist Greg Steward, DeLuca, freshman Jay DiStefano and Brian Krol joined the scoring parade. It was the first goal of the season for senior Steward, the first collegiate career goal for faceoff man DeLuca.