May 16, 2007


Purple streak lives on


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Bridget Dooley of Marcellus chases Cortland High’s Natalie Khazzaka (16) during the first half of Wednesday’s girls’ lacrosse non-league match-up. Purple Tigers were 10-8 home field winners, their 12th straight victory.

The Cortland High girls’ lacrosse team rallied in the second half Wednesday to score a 10-8 non-league victory over visiting Marcellus.
The Purple Tigers, the 14th-ranked Class C team in the state, have now won 12 games in a row and are 13-3 overall heading into today’s regular-season finale, a 7 p.m. start against Fulton at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex. They would claim at least a share of first place in the OHSL Freedom Division with a victory.
Marcellus scored four of the game’s first five goals Wednesday before the Purple Tigers rallied to within a goal, 6-5, at halftime.
“We were playing not to lose instead of playing to win,” Cortland coach Kim Pace said of her team’s early 4-1 deficit. “We were letting Marcellus control the game and playing defensively instead of offensively. After a timeout, the girls came out an entirely different team. We took control of the game, and worked our way back to within a goal at the half.
“In the second half, we came out much more focused and ready to play our game,” added Pace. “We were able to settle the ball down on offense and run our plays. Our defense also stepped up and started communicating better, which led to fewer shooting opportunities for Marcellus. We held them to just five shots on goal in the second half, during which (senior goalie) Danielle DePerno came up with three key saves. With every game, she is playing with more and more confidence.”
The Purple Tigers scored the first three goals of the second half to go up 8-6 with 15:45 left before the Mustangs (6-8) scored twice to tie it at 8-8 with 6:59 left. Junior midfielder Janelle Stegeland scored the eventual game-winner off an assist from senior midfielder Beth Cutia with 6:31 left. Cutia’s unassisted tally with 3:17 left accounted for the final margin.
On the day, Stegeland scored five goals and added an assist, while senior midfielder Kim Natoli had two goals and an assist, Cutia a goal and two assists, junior midfielder Bailey Reagan a goal and an assists and sophomore midfielder one goal.
DePerno made 10 saves to five for Marcellus goalie Natalie Scheibel as the winners had a 20-18 shot advantage. Bridget Dooley scored three goals and Sarah Holden added two more for the Mustangs.
“Our passing game was much better today than in our last game,” Pace said. “We worked harder to get open and focused more on good passes. While our entire midfield worked very well together to move the ball around Marcellus’s swarming defense, Kim Natoli, Caitlin Stevens and Beth Cutia really stood out. They played aggressively on the draws and on groundballs in the midfield.”
Pace noted that Stegeland and Bailey Reagan were keys to the offense, while also citing Robin Barber and Lisa Frare for their performances.
“The girls didn’t want their winning streak to end just yet,” Pace said. “They pulled out everything they had and I couldn’t have asked for more from them.”
CORTLAND JVs beat Marcellus 8-6 to avenge an earlier loss. Melissa Mastronardi scored three goals to lead the way, while Ellie DePerno added two goals and an assist with one goal each from Christy Gates, Maya Gebhardt and Janesa Cornish. Goalie Caitlin Cottone made 16 saves.
The JVs were to host Fulton at 4:30 p.m. today at the high school.


Red Dragons move on to semifinals

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — When SUNY Cortland men walked off their home field having lost a conference playoff championship game earlier this month, many thought this lacrosse season had ended for the team.
Having five regular season losses on their resume, the thought was, would keep the Red Dragons from getting a post-season invitational into the NCAA Division III tournament.
Well, the Red Dragons would receive that invitation and now find themselves a win away from returning to the Division III finals.
In a quarterfinal round game delayed on several occasions do to severe weather Wednesday, Cortland defeated previously unbeaten Western New England College 12-10 to keep alive ambitions of repeating as national champions.
Junior attackmen Billy Fuchs and Ryan Heath each had three goals and an assist for the Red Dragons (14-5), who came into the game ranked 12th nationally in Division III.
Western New England, ranked third nationally, finishes the year 17-1.
Now Coach Steve Beville’s stickers are headed to Connecticut on Sunday, to face Wesleyan University with a trip to the national title game on the line. That will be a rematch of a year ago, when the Red Dragons defeated Wesleyan 7-6 in overtime at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex in the semifinal round.
Wesleyan defeated Nazareth 9-6 in a quarterfinal round game yesterday.
In other quarterfinal round contests, Gettysburg defeated Ithaca College 11-5 and Salisbury remained unbeaten with a 15-9 victory over Roanoke. Gettysburg visits Salisbury in the other semifinal game Sunday.
The title game is Sunday, May 27, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.



Early morning wake-up call for Cortland hitters

AUBURN — The SUNY Cortland baseball squad did its best work well past midnight as the NCAA Division III Regional finally got its opening day completed.
In a contest that ended at 2:39 a.m. this morning, the top-seeded Red Dragons broke things open in the late innings to eliminate fourth seed Manhattanville College with a 13-1 victory at Falcon Park.
Four runs in the bottom of the seventh and seven more tallies in the eighth turned this game lopsided and sent Cortland (36-4) on to face Trinity College (29-6) from Connecticut at 4 p.m. this afternoon.
Trinity beat Manhattanville 15-6 to get Wednesday’s play underway in this double elimination tournament that was delayed following a rainy morning. St. John Fisher then scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth and ended up beating Skidmore College 6-5 over 11 innings. Ithaca College followed with a 10-0 thumping of Westfield State from Massachusetts.
That sets up today’s schedule of games, starting sixth seed Skidmore (20-19) going up against seventh seed Westfield State (20-16) in a 10 a.m. elimination game. Second seed Ithaca (25-13) faces third seed St. John Fisher (27-11) at 1 p.m. and the Cortland-Trinity game follows. The day concludes with the Ithaca-St. John Fisher loser meeting the Skidmore-Westfield State winner at 7 p.m.
The regional runs through Saturday, with the winner advancing to the Division III World Series being held May 25-29 in Appleton, Wisc.
Cortland 13, Manhattanville 1: Cortland held a slight 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, when the Red Dragons came up with four runs. Junior designated hitter Nick DeVito singled in two teammates then, with catcher Mike Zaccardo and right fielder Dan Maycock also with run-scoring base hits.
Seven runs in the bottom of the eighth broke the game wide open for Cortland. Zaccardo delivered a two-run single in that scoring spree, while DeVito, Joey Russo and Matt Vitalone each singled in runs.
Sophomore starter George Zweid, junior Ryan Hooper and sophomore David Limbach combined on a one-hitter for Cortland.
Zweid gave up Manhattanville’s only hit, fanning eight and walking three over 6.2 innings. The left-hander from New Hartford whiffed seven of the first 12 batters he faced.