Blue Knights, Red Dragons add to Lakers’ conference woes

Geneseo senior midfielder Ray Ryan netted the final two goals of the game to break a 7-7 tie en route to a 9-7 victory for the Blue Knights against the Oswego State men’s lacrosse team on Saturday afternoon at Laker Field.

Ryan led all players with three goals and an assist for a four-point game and the Blue Knight’s defense held the Laker offense scoreless for the final 11:13 of the game to earn their first victory in SUNYAC play this season. Ryan leads the team in goals with 13.

"You have to give Geneseo credit and you definitely have to give Ray Ryan a lot of credit," Oswego State head coach Ryan Martin said. "He’s a kid that, come the end of the game, he wants the ball in his stick. That’s the type of player he is."

The Lakers (5-5 overall, 0-3 SUNYAC) played catch up all afternoon and never led at any point of the game. Oswego State managed to tie the game on just two occasions, including early in the first period when junior attacker/midfielder Casey Balzer capitalized on an extra-man opportunity at 3:27 of the first quarter. Following a tripping penalty enforced to Geneseo’s Bob Mascia, Balzer received a pass from senior midfielder Pat Decker and rifled a shot past Geneseo goalie Ryan Zaremba.

Geneseo (3-4 overall, 1-0 SUNYAC) countered with a 4-1 run to take a three-goal lead with 4:13 remaining in the first half, including two goals from junior attacker Brendan Kurpis. The Lakers battled back with goals from junior attacker Andy Lever and junior midfielder Britt Leone to cut the Blue Knight lead to one.

The Blue Knights seized momentum heading into halftime with two goals in the final 18 seconds by senior attacker Bobby King, including the last goal of the first half with one second remaining. King’s first goal of the game came on the man-advantage after Oswego State junior defenseman Eric Miccio was called for a 30 second technical foul for pushing. Miccio’s penalty gave the Blue Knights a two-man advantage, as Oswego State junior defenseman Zak Fazio was called for slashing 23 seconds earlier. King scored Geneseo’s sixth goal of the game came one second after Fazio’s penalty expired with 18 seconds remaining in the half. King scored his second goal of the game 17 seconds later to give the Blue Knights a three-goal lead for the second time in the game. Geneseo outshot the Lakers 18-12 in the first half.

"That really hurt us," Martin said. "That’s something we talk about constantly in practice is we never want to give up any goals with under two minutes remaining in any quarter. We want to limit that as much as possible and it was a couple of mistakes that we made, not just at the defensive end but at the offensive end as well."

Both teams clamped down on defense in the third quarter, as Oswego State sophomore attacker Mark Briggs scored the quarter’s lone goal at 2:52 of the third quarter to cut Geneseo’s lead to two.

Briggs’ goal sparked a three-goal run by the Lakers to tie the game at seven with 11:13 remaining in regulation. Junior midfielder Brett Sarubbi and freshman attacker Chris Porten scored within 24 seconds of each other to erase Geneseo’s lead. After a shot by senior attacker Marcus Peworchik went wide of the cage, Sarubbi scored unassisted off the restart to cut the deficit to one.

Balzer won the ensuing faceoff and found Decker up the field. Decker fired a shot that went high just high of Zaremba. Off the restart, Briggs fed a pass to Porten, who beat Zaremba to tie the game.

"One of the best things to see out of our team was showing that we have some resiliency," Martin said. "It’s not something we’ve done a great job with thus far this year, but our guys really stuck together and believed in themselves and each other."

Ryan took control of the game in the final seven minutes of the game, scoring two unassisted goals to build a two-goal lead. The Lakers were unable to find the back of the net to answer Geneseo’s two-goal run despite firing six shots in the final seven minutes, including two on net.

The Lakers outshot the Blue Knights 12-6 in the final quarter, but were unable to capitalize on their chances. Geneseo outshot Oswego State 33-29 for the game.

Oswego State goalie Ian O’Brien registered 16 saves in a losing effort for the Lakers. Zaremba earned the win in net with nine saves.

Oswego State’s struggle within SUNYAC continued on Wednesday afternoon, as fifth-ranked SUNY Cortland routed the Lakers, 23-5 at Cortland.

Cortland’s Mike Tota netted a hat trick and recorded two assists for a five-point game, as the Red Dragons scored 13 unanswered goals after Oswego State senior midfielder Pat Decker gave the Lakers a 1-0 lead 1:01 into the first period.

Junior midfielder Britt Leone led the Lakers in scoring with two goals. Leone scored Oswego State’s second goal with 6:24 remaining in the first half. Cortland responded with an eight-goal run to break the game open.

The Red Dragons (8-2 overall, 3-0 SUNYAC) controlled possession throughout the game, winning 27 of 31 faceoffs and winning 55 groundballs.

Oswego State junior goalie started the first half in net, recording five saves and allowed 13 goals. Freshman goalie Tyler Trueman took over in the second half, recording six saves and allowing 10 goals.

The Lakers currently sit at the bottom of SUNYAC at 0-3. They hope to earn their first win in conference play when they host SUNY Oneonta on Saturday, April 16, at 1 p.m.