April 05 , 2007


Red Dragons explode past Ithaca

Dragons Lacrosse

Photos by Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Kyle Simensky of SUNY Cortland falls backwards as he gets a pass off near the Ithaca College goal while being dogged by defenseman Brandon Rose. Eleven different Red Dragons scored in 15-4 home field win last night.

Sports Editor

Apparently, there is plenty of fire left in these Red Dragons.
SUNY Cortland men had just dropped out of the Division III lacrosse rankings for the first time this season prior to facing rival Ithaca College Wednesday night.
And the defending national champions were still feeling the sting of back-to-back losses by mere one-goal margins before stepping onto the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex turf for just the second time this season.
That just added to the surprise of how much the Red Dragons dominated play on this chilly and soggy evening, three goals by junior midfielder Chris Hannon and a stellar performance by sophomore goalie Michael Robinson just part of this 15-4 romp over the Bombers.
Ithaca (9-2) came into this game ranked seventh in Division III thanks to an eight-game winning streak.
“It felt good, everyone just jelled tonight,” said Hannon, one of 11 Red Dragons who scored goals. “It was only a matter of time before we exploded.”
It was the perfect way to head into the SUNY Athletic Conference portion of the schedule, as the Red Dragons evened their record to 4-4 going into a Saturday afternoon road trip to Plattsburgh. This could be the confidence builder Cortland was looking for heading into the second half of the regular season.
“I certainly hope so,” said head coach Steve Beville, who is in his first season directing the Red Dragons after arriving from Division I Vermont. “We’ve been struggling with all the different things you need to do to win, and tonight we put it all together. We haven’t played badly, we’ve just lost some close games on the road. It was nice to put it together against a quality team.”
Cortland scored the opening five goals, coming from the sticks of five different players, and led 5-1 at halftime. The Red Dragons then put the game away, scoring six unanswered goals in the third quarter, during which some of the Cortland faithful directed an “over-rated” chant towards the guests in blue.
Attackmen Billy Fuchs and Ryan Heath each had two goals and two assists, goalie Robinson turned back nine shots and midfielders Bill Gleason and Josh Cittadino helped Cortland win 14-of-23 faceoffs.
“We came together well as a team,” said Hannon. “Tonight was a big game for us.”
ITHACA MISTAKES certainly helped, the Bombers especially having trouble clearing the ball out of their own end. The visitors were just 9-for-24 in that department, and had several additional unforced errors that led to Cortland goals.
“We probably spend more time on rides than most teams do,” said Coach Beville. “We want to create tempo and provide extra possessions for our offense, and tonight it really paid off.”
Cortland turned those extra possessions into a 39-29 edge in shots taken.
“Just hard work and getting back to where we wanted to get back to all season long,” said All-America long stick midfielder Cheney Raymond of Cortland’s success forcing Ithaca into miscues.
Robinson, who earned the starting assignment after three solid practice sessions, was sharp in goal. And the still evolving close defense of sophomores Luke Lemon and Kevin Mitchell, along with junior Nick Bueti, held Ithaca to a lone goal over the opening three quarters.
That lone IC success came off a fast break ignited following a save by goalie Dennis Butler, leading to attackman Matt Nelligan scoring the first of his two goals midway through the second period. Of course, Cortland was ahead 5-zip before Ithaca scored in that unsettled situation.
After both teams missed scoring chances early, freshman Brandon Misiaszak out of New Hartford finally got things going with 6:29 left in the opening quarter for the Red Dragons after getting free in front_of Butler.
Fuchs made it 2-0 with 1:48 left in that opening stanza pouncing on a rebound of his own shot that had been turned away by Butler. That goal was set up by Hannon, who provided a nifty pass while prone on the turf after being tripped up trying to attack the crease.
Sophomore midfielder Kevin Kliszczewicz swept to his right to make it 3-0 just 1:11 into the second stanza, Hannon got his first goal on a blazing shot from the right flank two minutes later and junior midfielder Adam Hyde made a nice backdoor cut and converted a Kyle Simensky pass into the fifth Red Dragon goal.
CORTLAND THEN put the game away in the third quarter. The Red Dragons disrupted six Ithaca clears during that 15-minute stretch, had a 14-5 shot advantage, dominated ground balls 21-8 and won 5-of-7 faceoffs.
Hannon and Heath each scored twice during that show of strength, while midfielder Joey Morgan and Fuchs also connected. And when freshman Kevin Keown scored his second goal of the season 24 seconds into the fourth quarter, Cortland had its largest lead at 12-1.
Ryan Simensky, Brian Krol and Conor Duffy would score additional Red Dragon goals, Simensky connecting on a shot from midfield into an empty net following another costly Ithaca giveaway.
It was certainly not the homecoming a trio of former Homer Central players — senior captain Matt Hammes along with junior midfielder Will Rumsey and back-up sophomore goalie Ben Connery those ex-Trojans — had wished.
Hammes won five faceoffs for the Bombers, but was below his 60 percent success rate on the season. Connery saw action in the fourth quarter and had one save and Rumsey had a groundball pick-up in the late going.
This was the game Cortland was looking for, however.
“Everyone came through,” said senior Raymond. “The older guys stepped up. We had been lacking that, having the older guys step up.”



Indians, Devils split on track

GROTON — In conditions more fit for penguins and polar bears, Groton Central boys and girls hosted Moravia in Interscholastic Athletic Conference track and field action Wednesday.
Groton boys won 15-of-16 events en route to a 104-18 win while the Moravia girls claimed 14-of-16 events to post an 82-40 triumph. There was no pole vault competition due to the conditions.
Kyle Eggleston was one of six Groton boys to win two individual events. Eggleston captured the 110-meter high hurdles in 21.3 seconds and the 400m intermediate hurdles with a clocking of 1:07.5.
Other double winners included Mike Competillo, Mik Kern, David Saroka, Jonah Hebdon and Jeremy Vanmarter. Steven Townsend was a solo winner for the Indians in the long jump. Groton also claimed two of the three rely events, but no names were reported.
Moravia won the opening 3,200m relay as Cameron Hartnett, Joe Grobelny, Larry Bentley and Dyan Kowal posted a winning time of 11:49.9.
l Moravia girls set the pace throughout the chilly afternoon as Alicia McLaughlin and Kayla Slater were on all three wining relay teams. Helen Hunsinger anchored the 3,200m relay quartet while Emily Dusseau and Aimee Glenister each competed in the two winning relays. Jessica Higgins was part of the winning 400m relay.
Claire Hunsinger won three individual events for Moravia. Hunsinger won the 400m dash (1:12.2), triple jump (28-feet-9.5 inches) and high jump (4-0). Dusseau, Higgins and Jen Cornwell each won two individual events for the Blue Devil ladies while McLaughlin and Gabe Chiddy each picked up one individual win.
The lone Groton wins came from Alexis Coon and Jessica Hunter.


Games fall victim to bad weather

The decidedly wintry turn in the weather has wreaked havoc with the area’s scholastic sports schedules.
The Cortland High boys’ and girls’ track teams were supposed to have opened their seasons at Jamesville-DeWitt Wednesday, but those contests have now been pushed back to April 30. The Cincinnatus golf team’s visit to Oxford Wednesday was postponed to April 26, while not yet rescheduled are the DeRuyter baseball and softball teams’ games at Madison and the Rocket track squad’s meet at Morrisville-Eaton.
As of press time, the only Cortland High events that had been washed out today were the varsity and junior varsity baseball games with East Syracuse-Minoa. The varsity game, at ES-M, will be played at 3 p.m. on May 5, while on that same day the JV game will take place at Barry School starting at 10 a.m.
Today’s scheduled Cincinnatus baseball and softball games at Otselic Valley will now be played on April 12 and May 8, respectively.
AT HOMER, Wednesday’s home baseball game against Phoenix was postponed and will now be played April 17 at 4:30 p.m.
The softball team to travel to Phoenix Wednesday and also feel to the inclement weather. The Trojans will now travel to Phoenix April 17 for a 4:30 p.m. contest.
The Homer boys’ lacrosse match at Fulton for today has been postponed. No make-up date has been announced.
The Homer tennis team was slated to host Mexico this afternoon, but that match has been postponed. No make-up date has been announced as of this morning.
IAC BASEBALL and softball action between Dryden and Groton was postponed yesterday as well as Marathon traveling to the Candor diamonds because of inclement weather Wednesday. No make-up dates have been announced.
Today’s Lansing at Marathon varsity baseball and softball game shave been postponed. No make-up dates has been announced.
Today’s Groton at Union Springs golf match has been postponed until May 2 at 4 p.m.