May 29, 2007
Salisbury beats Dragons, regaining D-3 lacrosse title
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Chase Caruso (3) of Salisbury reaches in to knock the ball loose from Kevin Mitchell of SUNY Cortland.
BALTIMORE, MD. — Salisbury used a decisive 5-0 run to break a 7-7 tie early in the third quarter and the Sea Gulls defeated Cortland, 15-9, in the NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship Game in front of 22,778 fans at M&T Bank Stadium.
Salisbury, ranked first nationally, completed a 23-0 season with the win while capturing its seventh national title and fourth in five years. Cortland (15-6), ranked 12th nationally, was making its second straight NCAA championship game appearance. The Red Dragons defeated Salisbury, 13-12 in overtime, in last year’s title game in Philadelphia.
Salisbury junior Matt Hickman was named the championship game Most Outstanding Player after leading the Sea Gulls with five goals and one assist. Senior Eric Bishop added four goals and three assists and junior Greg Titus finished with three goals. Senior Max Zarchin made 12 saves.
Junior Adam Hyde led Cortland with four goals and one assist. Senior Mike Felice scored once and assisted on a goal and sophomore Michael Robinson made 11 saves, the second-highest single-game total in his collegiate career.
The underdog Red Dragons shocked the Sea Gulls early by racing out to a 4-1 lead less than 10 minutes into the contest. Hyde scored with just 1:28 elapsed and long-stick midfielder Cheney Raymond scored with 9:59 left in the quarter after gaining possession near midfield.
Hickman responded 27 seconds later to put Salisbury on the board. Felice’s goal at the 8:31 mark and freshman midfielder Chris Dutkowsky’s goal, only his second of the season, with 5:16 left gave Cortland a three-goal lead. That margin was greater than either team held in last year’s championship game.
Bishop found the net with 2:43 left in the quarter to spark a 6-0 Salisbury run, the longest unanswered goal-scoring streak by a Cortland opponent this season. The run continued with two Hickman goals in the first 5:09 of the second quarter and was eventually capped by a Bishop goal with 7:48 left before halftime.
Trailing 7-4, Cortland quickly got a goal back when junior Josh Cittadino won the ensuing faceoff and scored an unassisted goal just seven seconds after Bishop’s tally. The Red Dragons closed to within 7-6 when Hyde scored with four seconds remaining in the half, and Hyde scored again just 46 seconds into the third quarter to knot the game at 7-7.
Salisbury answered with five goals in less than a five-minute span to take the lead for good. Hickman scored off sophomore Kylor Berkman’s third assist of the game with 13:27 left in the quarter. Bishop set up Titus 32 seconds later and senior Matt Dasinger scored on his own with 10:16 left. Hickman finished the run with a score at the 8:36 mark and the Sea Gulls led 12-7.
Cortland junior Billy Fuchs broke the streak when he scored, assisted by Hyde, with 3:36 remaining in the third. The goal was Fuchs’ 50th of the season, giving Cortland two 50-goal scorers in the same season for the first time in school history. Junior Ryan Heath, who was held scoreless by the Sea Gulls, and Fuchs each finished the season with exactly 50 goals scored.
Hopes for a Cortland comeback were squelched when Dasinger converted a Bishop pass for a goal with one second left in the third quarter. Bishop extended the Salisbury lead to 14-8 with 7:48 left in the game. Cortland’s final goal came on Hyde’s final tally, assisted by Joey Morgan, with 5:42 left. Bishop concluded the scoring with 2:07 on the clock.
Cortland returned to the championship game despite struggling early in the season. The Red Dragons started 3-4 before rattling off nine consecutive wins. That streak, however, ended with a 16-15 loss to Geneseo in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) tournament championship game.
Cortland received an at-large berth into the NCAA playoffs and won three straight road games — at St. Lawrence, Western New England and Wesleyan (Conn.) — to earn their second straight Division III championship berth and fourth overall.
Cortland lost in both the 1980 and 1981 Division III title games to Hobart. The Red Dragons also made six NCAA Division II tournament appearances from 1974-79, winning a national title in 1975, in addition to advancing to the NCAA Division I semifinals in 1972 and winning the USILA College Division title in 1973.
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Purple Tigers whip Comets
CICERO — There’s a chalkboard in the locker room of the Cortland High boys’ lacrosse team inscribed with a message that reads, “Feeling Wronged? How hard do you want to work?”
The Purple Tigers were seeded third in the Section 3 Class A tournament behind No. 1 Jamesville-DeWitt — a team they split with in the regular season and shared the Section 3 Class B Division crown with — and Carthage, which was swamped by the host Red Rams 15-4 two weeks ago. Cortland faced the Comets Saturday afternoon in the B semifinals at Cicero-North Syracuse with a chance to answer both questions on the board and did so emphatically in a game in which the seeding system took a major hit.
It was also a game with two vastly different halves, as CHS exploded from a tenuous 8-5 halftime lead by outscoring their North Country foe 6-1 in the third quarter and romped to a 20-8 victory, in which by rule a running clock came into effect for the last 6:50 after the lead reached 12 goals. By that point, coach John Spallone’s forces had gone up 19-7, and upped the lead to 20-7 before Carthage closed out the scoring with 2:05 left, en route to heading home with a final record of 18-2.
Cortland is also 18-2, having set a school record for most wins in a season with its 16th consecutive triumph, also a new standard for the program. The Purple Tigers, ranked sixth in the state among Class B teams, will face No. 5 state-ranked J-D in Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. championship game, also at C-NS. The Red Rams improved to 17-3 by beating No. 4 East Syracuse-Minoa 16-13 in Saturday’s second B semifinal.
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C-State athletes shine
OSHKOSH, WIS. – Cortland senior Christina Acquaviva and freshman Fawn Dorr each won national titles Saturday during the final day of competition at the NCAA Division III Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Acquaviva won her second national title in as many days with her victory in the 100-meter hurdles Saturday, while Dorr captured top honors in the 400-meter hurdles. The Red Dragons, on the strength of their three individual crowns, finished eighth in the final team standings with 30 points.
Cortland was only two points shy of tying for fifth place. The finish is Cortland’s best since a seventh-place showing in 2001. Wisconsin-Oshkosh won the team title with 57 points. In all, 74 teams scored points at the meet.
The Cortland men, meanwhile, finished second in their national meet, at the same site.
Acquaviva, coming off her national title in the heptathlon on Friday, won the 100-meter hurdles title Saturday with her time of 14.43 seconds. Amy Magnuson of MIT was second in 14.64 seconds and Aislinn Sowash of Haverford was third in 14.73 seconds.
Dorr broke a 22-year old school record with her winning time of 59.50 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles. She edged runner-up Sarah Wittingen of Calvin College by 0.46 seconds, while RPI’s Jen Dias was third in 1:00.24. The previous Cortland school record of 1:00.83 was set by Andrea Spaulding in 1985.
Three All-America performances on the last day of competition helped SUNY Cortland secure second place in the final team standings.
The Red Dragons finished with 34 points, six ahead of third-place Monmouth College (Ill.) and seven ahead of both Wisconsin-Platteville and St. John’s (Minn.).
Cortland’s team finish is easily its best in school history. The program’s previous best national showing was a tie for 13th in 1997. Wisconsin-La Crosse easily claimed the team title with 99 points. A total of 79 schools scored at the meet.
Cortland scored 22 of its team points on Saturday with two national runner-up finishes along with a third-place effort.
The 4x100-meter relay team of junior Kevin Ma, junior J.J. Riese, sophomore Matt Bieringer and junior Amaan Siddeeq finished second with a time of 40.59 seconds, only eight hundredths of a second behind McMurry University (Texas). The Red Dragon quartet broke its own school record of 40.85 seconds that it established in Thursday’s prelims.
Siddeeq then finished second in the 100-meter dash in 10.66 seconds and was ninth in the 200-meter dash, missing All-America honors by one spot, with a time of 22.54 seconds.
Willie Hordge of Buffalo State won both races with times of 10.56 seconds in the 100 meters and 21.15 seconds in the 200 meters. Siddeeq was the national runner-up in the 55-meter dash at the NCAA indoor championships this past March.
Senior Andrew Cloke set a school record with his third-place time of 14:30.54 in the 5,000-meter run. Cloke earned two All-America honors at the meet; he was also second in the 10,000 meters on Thursday.
Senior C. Fred Joslyn, who set the previous school record (14:38.79) in 2006, finished 10th inthe race in 14:52.23 and missed All-America recognition by two spots.