October 28, 2009
Dragons open up season on road
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland Christian’s Jathan Iler (38) tries to chase down a crossing pass against Port City’s Tyler Bouldin in the first half of Tuesday’s ESCAL soccer semifinal.
The hockey season gets underway for SUNY Cortland men this evening as the Red Dragons travel to face Lebanon Valley in Hershey, Pa.
That 7 p.m. non-league outing will be the first of five consecutive road games for the Red Dragons to open the 2009-10 campaign.
The game with Lebanon Valley will be the lone warm-up for Coach Joe Baldarotta’s squad before SUNY Athletic Conference play gets underway this weekend with a trip to western New York. The Red Dragons are at Fredonia Friday night and skate at Buffalo State Saturday, both games also 7 p.m. starts.
Among the newcomers on the Red Dragons this season will be former Cortland-Homer Golden Eagles performer Blake Battin, a 2006 Homer Central graduate.
Battin spent a year skating for the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid and two-years with the Binghamton Junior Senators A team before coming back home to Cortland, where he’s in the athletic training program.
“I’ve always wanted to play for SUNY Cortland. It’s been a long road getting here and I couldn’t be more psyched to make the team,” said Batttin of making the Red Dragons roster.
Cortland is coming off an 8-15-2 season, which included a 5-9-2 record in the SUNYAC standings that kept the team out of the conference playoffs. Cortland ended the season with a four-game losing skid to fall out of playoff contention.
The Red Dragons have missed reaching the playoffs in five of the past six seasons, a late-season surge in the 2007-08 campaign — Baldarotta’s first at the helm — earning that lone appearance. Heading into his third season at Cortland, Baldarotta has a 19-27-5 coaching record.
Ten of the top 11 scorers on last year’s team were underclassmen, sophomore Jarrett Gold the leading scorer with 10 goals and a team high 22 assists. Cortland’s Gerard Heinz was a second team all-conference selection on defense as a junior, having been a first-teamer in his first two seasons with the Red Dragons. Scoring a team high 11 goals helped forward Patrick Palmisano earned honorable mention SUNYAC all-star status.
Cortland’s first appearance on its’ Alumni Arena home ice will be Nov. 15 when Oswego pays a visit. Perennial Division III power Oswego finished second behind Plattsburgh in last year’s regular season standings.
CORTLAND WOMEN are home Friday to get their season started, Salve Regina from Rhode Island in town for a 6 p.m. start. The Red Dragons were 3-19-3 overall and 2-14-2 in the ECAC West Division standings for Coach Earl Utter.
Utter, who had 177-60-13 success with the Morrisville State men’s hockey program before coming to Cortland, is in his third season directing the Red Dragons.
After Friday’s opener, Cortland plays host to Vermont’s Castelton State Saturday at 3 p.m.
The ECAC West Division season begins on Nov. 6 when Chatham arrives to town for a couple of league games at Alumni Arena.
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