May 10, 2016
Dragons softball will host regional
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland senior Ashley Gentile (30) will be leading the Red Dragons into the NCAA Division III tournament that starts this weekend at the Stadium Complex.
The SUNY Cortland softball team will not have to venture far to get the NCAA Division III tournament underway.
For the second straight year, the Red Dragons will host a four-team regional scheduled to run Friday through Sunday at Dragon Field. The recently crowned SUNY Athletic Conference champions are seeded second, Cortland (35-9) to open up against third-seed Keuka College (19-12) on Friday at 1 p.m.
Top-seeded Rowan (35-8) out of New Jersey will play fourth-seed Castleton (20-11) out of Vermont at 3:30 p.m on opening day.
Play will continue in the double-elimination tournament with three games Saturday starting at 11 a.m., with the championship round getting underway Sunday at noon.
The winner of the regional will advance to a two-team, best-of-three “super regional” May 20-21 versus the winner of the Ithaca College-hosted regional at a site to be determined. The eight super-regional winners will play in the NCAA Div. III World Series May 26-31 in Salem, Virginia.
Cortland will be making its 21st NCAA appearance, including its ninth in 10 years and 15th total under 22nd-year head coach Julie Lenhart. The Red Dragons have advanced to the World Series seven times during Lenhart’s tenure – 1998, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013 – and eight times overall.
The Red Dragons were the 2013 national runner-up and finished fourth nationally in 2011.
Cortland won the SUNYAC regular-season title and then captured the league’s postseason tournament crown this past weekend at home. The Red Dragons went 4-0 at the tournament, capped by a 12-4 win over Buffalo State Sunday in the championship round.
Cortland and Keuka have met twice previously in NCAA regional play, with the Red Dragons winning 7-1 in 2010 and 4-3 in 2012.
Rowan and Cortland have played three times, with the Profs winning all three meetings. Rowan beat Cortland in 1994, 2015 and this spring, all in Florida. Cortland and Castleton have never met.
WOMEN’S LACROSSE: No. 1 nationally-ranked and defending national champion Cortland will play either New Hampshire’s Keene State or Vermont’s Castleton in an NCAA Division III tournament second-round game on Sunday at the Stadium Complex.
Cortland enters the tournament unbeaten at 18-0 and has won 37 straight games dating back to last spring.
A first-round game between Keene State (11-7) and Castleton (12-5) will be held at Cortland on Saturday, with the winner remaining in Cortland to face the Red Dragons the following day. Game times are to be announced.
Keene State won its second straight Little East Conference title with an 11-8 win over Plymouth State this past Saturday. The Owls will be making their fifth NCAA appearance.
Castleton won its fifth straight North Atlantic Conference crown with a 17-7 victory Saturday over Colby-Sawyer. The Spartans also traveled to Cortland for the NCAA tournament last year and defeated Morrisville State in the opening round before losing to Cortland.
The winner of Cortland’s game Sunday will play in a four-team regional on May 21-22, at a site to be announced. The Division III national semifinals and finals will be held May 28-29 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennslyvania, near Philadelphia. Last year’s “Final Four” was also held at that stadium.
Under second-year head coach Kelly Lickert-Orr, the Red Dragons captured their 18th straight SUNYAC tournament title beating Brockport 16-11 this past weekend. The Red Dragons will be making their 18th straight NCAA appearance and 20th overall.
MEN’S LACROSSE: The Red Dragons were hoping to land a home game, but instead will be headed to Springfield, Massachusetts, to face Western New England in the opening round of the NCAA Division III playoffs at 4 p.m.
The Cortland-Western New England winner will face either two-time defending national champion Tufts or Emmanuel College at a site to be determined.
The quarterfinals are scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 and the semifinals on Sunday, May 22. The Division III national championship game is Sunday, May 29, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Cortland (13-5), under 10th-year head coach Steve Beville, is making its 16th straight NCAA tournament appearance and 32nd overall, including 25 on the Division III level.
After a 3-5 start entering April, Cortland has won 10 straight games including last Saturday’s 7-6 win over Brockport pulled out on Cory Becker’s goal with two seconds left to play.
Four of Cortland’s five losses this year have come to teams in this year’s NCAA field — RIT, Stevenson, Amherst and Ithaca. The Red Dragons have wins over NCAA selections Cabrini and Morrisville State.
Western New England (15-3) earned its trip to the NCAA tournament after defeating Endicott College, 14-12, in the Commonwealth Coast Conference finals on Saturday. The Golden Bears are making their eighth NCAA tournament appearance overall and fourth in the last five years.
BASEBALL: After winning the SUNYAC title on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Oswego, the No. 1 nationally ranked and defending national champion Red Dragons will have to wait until Monday for the NCAA Division III tournament selections.
Coach Joe Brown’s club will be hosting regional play at Falcon Park in Auburn May 18-22. Though Cortland has picked up a non-league game in the past to fill the void between the conference and NCAA tournaments, that won’t be happening this year.
“I know everyone is, but we’re really hurting right now. We need to get healthy,” said Brown, welcoming the schedule break.
Compagni Track Honors
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — Cortland native Joe Compagni was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Coach of the Year for the third straight season after Monmouth University’s latest success story.
Monmouth teams ran away with MAAC team titles for the third straight season. The men’s team scoring 225 points to dominate the competition, with the women compiling 228 points.
“For Monmouth University, for the Athletic Department and for Dr. Marilyn McNeil, we are proud to be able to bring home two more MAAC Championships,” said Compagni. “My coaching staff did an excellent job of getting the team ready, and they competed with a lot of heart and toughness.”
— SUNY Cortland men and women are gearing up for the ECAC Division III Championships being held May 18-20 at Westfield State in Massachusetts.
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe