May 12, 2011
Dragons cruise in tourney start
Cortland to host weekend regionals
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Keene State’s Lauren Brown (28) attempts to regain possession of the ball from SUNY Cortland’s Gina Campese (10) in the first half of Wednesday’s NCAA tournament contest. Cortland rolled to a 21-3 victory.
Securing a victory in the NCAA Division III playoffs is not supposed to be this easy.
But with a dozen different players contributing goals, SUNY Cortland women got their hoped-for run to a national title underway on a sunny Wednesday afternoon with a resounding 21-3 first round victory over visiting Keene State.
With sophomore Maria Di Fato leading the way with four goals and two assists, while Lindsay Abbott had four assists to go along with a three-goal hat trick, the Red Dragons tied the school record for wins in a season, too.
Now at 19-1 on the season and winners of 17 straight games, this Cortland squad that has moved up to No. 2 in the latest Division III naitonal poll will next host a four-team regional being played Saturday and Sunday back at the Stadium Complex. The weekend survivor moves on to the Final Four being hosted by Adelphi University on May 21-22.
Cortland will take on Tufts (12-6) at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday to the regional underway, with Hamilton College (18-1) facing Colby (14-4) at 2:30 p.m. in the other semifinal. The regional title game is at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
In other first round games yesterday, Tufts knocked off Endicott 17-6, Hamilton doubled up Brockport 14-7 and Colby romped past Norwich 17-4. The lone loss suffered by Hamilton this season came on its home field to Cortland, the Red Dragons winning 12-9 back in March.
Keene State could not keep up with Cortland in the opening round. The Owls trailed 14-1 at the half-time break against Cortland, and headed back to New Hampshire with a final 13-6 record.
While Di Fato and Abbott led the way — Abbott already the school’s single-season scoring record holder — plenty of others got into the scoring act as the Red Dragons out-shot the Owls 34-9 on the day.
Sophomores Gina Campese and Taylor Harney each recorded two goals and two assists, freshman Ashley Cook two goals and one assist, freshman Taylor Robinson tallied twice and senior Antonia Cianfrocco and sophomore Mary Hartzheim registered a goal and an assist apiece.
Sophomore goalies Ally Levy and Shauna Hutchinson split time in the cage. Levy made four saves in the first half and Hutchinson did not stop a shot in the final 30 minutes.
Senior Jamie Albert, junior Caitlyn Corace and sophomore Nicole Curry were the goal scorers for the Owls.
Di Fato gave the Red Dragons a 2-0 lead just 44 seconds into the game, and scored again two minutes later. Abbott then assisted Cook’s goal at 23:53 before Albert put the Owls on the scoreboard at 21:30 with a free-position goal to make it a 3-1 game.
Cortland answered by ending the half with 11 straight goals for a 14-1 lead at intermission. Abbott tallied three goals and Di Fato scored twice during the run.
Cook made it 15-1 just 37 seconds into the second half, and Kollar extended the lead to 16-1 at the 23:50 mark. Persano set up Curry’s goal at 20:39 to end Cortland’s 13-goal streak. Campese and Corace then traded scores before the Red Dragons ended the game with the last four goals for the 21-3 final.
Stevens Tech Lax Up
Next for Cortland Men
After receiving a first round bye in the NCAA Division III tournament, SUNY Cortland men will now host Stevens Tech at 6 p.m. Saturday in a second round contest at the Stadium Complex. The nationally fourth-ranked Red Dragons are 15-2 and winners of 11 straight games.
Empire 8 regular season champion Stevens Tech (16-2) advanced with a 9-7 victory over Montclair State Wednesday in New Jersey. The Ducks were led by four points from senior midfielder Chris Laurita and three from junior attackman Kevin Rose.
Dragon Baseball Called Off
SUNY Cortland’s scheduled non-conference baseball game to St. John Fisher on Wednesday was canceled. The Red Dragons will be in action next Wednesday, on May 18, when they host an NCAA Division III tournament regional at Falcon Park in Auburn.
The teams and game times for that regional will be announced this coming Monday.
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