Oswego State falls in first SUNYAC match

The Oswego State men’s lacrosse team evened its record after falling to conference rival Brockport as the season passes its midway point.  (Maximilian E. Principe | The Oswegonian)
The Oswego State men’s lacrosse team evened its record after falling to conference rival Brockport as the season passes its midway point. (Maximilian E. Principe | The Oswegonian)

The Oswego State men’s lacrosse team dropped its first SUNYAC match of the season to The College at Brockport on April 4, 8-3.

Oswego State got on the board first, just minutes into the game after an unassisted Connor Khammar goal. The Golden Eagles evened the score with a goal from Steve Brissette and gained momentum. John Countryman gave Brockport the lead just 42 seconds later when he beat Oswego State’s goalie, freshman Wyatt Russo.

It looked as though the Golden Eagles would take their 2-1 lead into the break, but Oswego State knotted the score at 2-2 after Connor Khammar beat Brockport’s net-minder Conor Nowak with just six seconds remaining in the quarter.

Poor field conditions started to play a factor during the second quarter, creating a slow and muddy playing surface, which slowed down the game. However, the Golden Eagles were able to retake the lead 10 minutes before the half on Countryman’s second of three goals on the night.

The second half began with Brockport ahead 3-2 and Oswego State came out strong. The Lakers managed to even the score at 3-3 at the 7:54 second mark of the third period on a high shot from Matt Palmer, with the lone assist going to Khammar.

With the score even, the game was ripe for Oswego State’s taking, but the Lakers struggled to put the ball in the net despite finding several good looks. Oswego State managed to rattle off 10 shots after scoring its third goal, but could not tack on another goal.

Junior midfielder Kyle Wistner advances the ball during Oswego State’s contest with Clarkson University last Tuesday, which was an 11-9 loss.  (Maximilian E. Principe | The Oswegonian)
Junior midfielder Kyle Wistner advances the ball during Oswego State’s contest with Clarkson University last Tuesday, which was an 11-9 loss. (Maximilian E. Principe | The Oswegonian)

Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles added five more goals, four of which came in the final quarter. Justin Cook recorded the quarter’s first two goals before Countryman padded the Golden Eagles’ lead after adding his third and final goal of the game.

Riley Austin tallied Brockport’s fourth goal of the period and eighth goal of the game, allowing the Golden Eagles to secure the win.

Despite the loss, the Lakers had a slight statistical advantage over the Golden Eagles in offensive categories, registering more shots, groundballs and face-offs. However, Brockport held a strong defensive advantage, almost doubling the Lakers in clears and forcing more turnovers. This advantage in possession showed in the goal column at the end of the game.

The Lakers were scheduled to have its second SUNYAC bout on April 9 against SUNY Cortland, but the game was canceled at the last minute, with official reports citing Oswego State’s sloppy field conditions as the reason behind the cancellation. The game has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 10 and will be played in Cortland.

Oswego State will look to keep up with conference teams with SUNYAC action underway.

Cortland and SUNY Oneonta both hold a 2-0 record in league play and sit atop the conference standings. Cortland, the defending SUNYAC champion, has played to an 8-3 overall record this season, more often than not outscoring their opponents by large margins.

In Cortland’s second division game against SUNY Plattsburgh, the Red Dragons survived a closely contested game, winning by just one goal against their SUNYAC rival, giving testament to the skill level of the teams in the conference this season.

Plattsburgh, SUNY Geneseo and Brockport are all 1-1 in the division, while SUNY Potsdam and Oswego are both 0-1 in conference play this season.

Other than the Brockport game, the Lakers have not faced another SUNYAC team and with spurts of strong and decisive play so far this season, there is much to be anticipated from the Oswego State squad.

The Lakers have shown an offensive prowess so far this season, tallying 77 goals on the year. Junior Nick Giampaolo leads the team with 14 goals and three assists for 17 total points.

Freshman Brady Hoose, younger brother of junior captain Cody Hoose, has nine goals and 12 points in his first year at Oswego State and seems to have found his place on the starting attack line for the Lakers.

Sophomore Troy Crevier has a 64 percent face-off win percentage this season with a demanding presence on the draw.

While Oswego State has progressed this season, the team, like any other, has had to deal with its fair share of injuries. Starting long stick midfielders Brian Slattery and Mike Galka sustained season-ending injuries right at the start of play this year, leaving a weaker transition presence for the team.

Underclassmen, including Luke Bender, have stepped up immensely thus far. Goaltender Wyatt Russo has also been a shining example of this as well, as the freshman has stepped in on short notice for injured senior net-minder Bryan Martin.

Russo holds a 4-3 record with a .602 save percentage and 80 saves so far this season.

The Lakers will play four of their remaining seven games on the road, with the only home conference game set for April 23 against SUNY Potsdam. Oswego State has an up-hill challenge after suffering an early SUNYAC loss to the Golden Eagles.

The Lakers’ next home game is April 14 against Elmira College, which comes two days before a home bout with SUNY Canton. Faceoffs for both games are set for 4 p.m. on the South Athletic Field, next to the Romney Field House.

Most of the games during the second half of the season carry a higher win value, however, as five of the seven contests are SUNYAC matchups starting versus Cortland on Thursday. Winning conference games gives teams a better chance to climb the conference ladder as the postseason is starting to enter the picture. This year’s SUNYAC tournament has been the team’s aspiration since the beginning of the season, especially after barely missing out on a bid for the playoffs last year.

Oswego State will look to continue its quest toward the SUNYAC tournament when the squad takes the field in Plattsburgh on Saturday. The game is slated to begin at 1 p.m.