Men’s Lax Rallies for Thrilling OT Win
Freshman Jamie Kuppel (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool) scored a man-up goal off a feed from junior James Voigt (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) as the Keuka College men's lacrosse team remained undefeated with a come-from-behind, 11-10 double-overtime win over The College at Brockport Saturday afternoon in Brockport, N.Y.
Senior Connor Latimer (Whitby, Ont./Father Leo J. Austin) scored three goals with two assists, and Kuppel and junior Derek Pfeiffer (Lee Center, NY/Rome Free Academy) each added two goals as the Storm (3-0) won their 15th straight game dating back to last year.
"I just shot for the net. I didn't think, I just shot," said Kuppel, who also had a big goal that forced overtime during the Storm's season-opening 13-12 win over Emmanuel (Mass.) College.
"That's my go-to shot, top corner, and I just threw it to the net and it went in. This is a huge win for us. Mentally, this was our biggest game of the year so far. We were really prepared for a good game with Brockport, and that's what we got today. This shows us what we need to do be consistently successful, not to give up and to stay mentally strong and execute."
Sophomore Matt Beebe (Syracuse, NY/LaFayette) finished with one goal and four assists for the Storm. Voigt added a goal and an assist while junior Cory Gray (Seneca Castle, NY/Midlakes) and sophomore Brendan King (Auburn, NY/Auburn) each added goals for Keuka.
Senior Zachary Koczent (Geneva, NY/Geneva) won 9 of 19 faceoffs and collected four groundballs while senior Kenny Cannon (East Syracuse, NY/East Syracuse-Minoa) added an assists with two groundballs and freshman Dustin Springer (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool) caused two turnovers for the Storm.
Junior Eric Saltrelli (Webster, NY/Webster Schroeder) finished with eight saves, including three straight point-blank stops in overtime to keep the Storm in the game. Freshman Jacob Wood (Marietta, NY/Auburn) started and made four saves while allowing five first-half goals.
"This was one of my best games I've ever played since I've been here," said Saltrelli, a first-team All-North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) selection in 2013.
"This is a huge statement win for us. Now teams will look at us and think we're a threat. I'm so proud, we've worked so hard for this day and it turned out in our favor and I couldn't be happier. It was huge to get this win, especially on the road."
The Green and Gold trailed 8-3 on John Countryman's unassisted goal with 8:57 remaining in the third quarter, but Keuka stormed back with six unanswered goals and held Brockport (2-3) scoreless for 17 minutes and three seconds to take a 9-8 lead on a tally from Latimer halfway through the fourth quarter. It was Latimer's second goal in a span of 20 seconds, and capped a 6-0 run.
Alex Austin and Steve Brissette scored back-to-back goals to stake the Golden Eagles to a 10-9 lead with 2:34 remaining in regulation, but Voigt scored a man-up goal with 39 seconds left off a feed from Gray to force overtime.
In the first four-minute overtime session, Brockport's persistent attack held onto possession for much of the quarter. The Golden Eagles had three point-blank looks at the game-winning goal, but each time Brockport threatened, Saltrelli was there for a big save.
"Staying focused was the main part," Saltrelli said. "I zoned in on the ball, and every time I zone in, it's when I have my good reactions and can make big saves. My defense played outstanding today and I couldn't do this without them. I have a short memory. Once I see the shot and I see the ball back out there, I just reset myself and get ready for the next shot."
After Brockport was called for a penalty at the tail end of the first overtime, Voigt got the ball and found Kuppel, who rifled a shot into the upper corner of the goal for the game-winner.
Trailing 4-1, Pfeiffer and Latimer each scored to pull the Storm within one, 4-3, 18 seconds into the second quarter.
Brockport responded with four straight goals for an 8-3 lead before Keuka rallied. Beebe scored a man-up goal off a feed from Latimer, and Kuppel and Pfeiffer added goals as Keuka ended the third down 8-6.
Beebe found Gray for a goal 1:26 into the fourth quarter, then Latimer tied the score on an unassisted goal with 7:53 to play and gave Keuka a 9-8 lead 20 seconds later, setting up the late-game drama.
"Kenny Cannon and Nick Judge are huge for us on groundballs, offense and defense. They are instrumental in every game we play and we can't do this without them," Kuppel said. "It's been a lot of fun playing with this team and I wouldn't trade this for anything."
Keuka hosts Alfred University at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Storm's home opener.