Stout Defense Lifts Men’s Lax Past Morrisville St.

Junior Eric Saltrelli made 16 saves as the Keuka College men's lacrosse team defeated Morrisville State 9-5 Saturday afternoon (photo courtesy of Carly Volante, Keuka College Sports Information Department).

Three different student-athletes scored two goals and junior Eric Saltrelli (Webster, NY/Webster Schroeder) stopped 16 shots as the Keuka College men's lacrosse team used a stout defensive performance to knock off rival Morrisville State 9-5 Saturday afternoon at Penn Yan Academy in Penn Yan, N.Y.

Senior Connor Latimer (Whitby, Ont./Father Leo J. Austin) and juniors James Voigt (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) and Cory Gray (Seneca Castle, NY/Midlakes) each scored two goals while Latimer added two assists to keep the three-time defending North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) champion Storm undefeated in 2014.

Senior Zachary Koczent (Geneva, NY/Geneva) won 60 percent of his faceoffs (9 of 15) and also collected six groundballs while seniors Nick Judge (Clifton Springs, NY/Midlakes) and Scott Miller (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) each had five groundballs to power the Storm (6-0, 2-0 NEAC).

Koczent, a two-time, first-team All-NEAC mifielder, broke the program's career record for groundballs. He currently has 192 groundballs, breaking Chris Sullivan's (2007-09) previous mark of 189.

Freshman Dustin Springer (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool) also had five groundballs for Keuka, which enjoyed a 43-22 edge in groundballs against the Mustangs (8-3, 2-1 NEAC).

Miller also caused three turnovers while Springer and freshman Trevor Jones (Jamesville, NY/LaFayette) each caused two turnovers in the win.

It is Keuka's seventh win in the last 10 meetings with Morrisville State, which came in averaging 11.2 goals per game but was held to its second-lowest goal total this year.

"This is a big win for us. Morrisville is always a big game for us every year, and we just wanted this win so badly today," said senior Kenny Cannon (East Syracuse, NY/East Syracuse-Minoa).

"We knew we had to come out of the gate strong and that's what we did. The emotions were high, but we've been in these situations before, so we kept calm and did what we had to do to take care of business. This is a big confidence boost for us."

Gray staked the Storm to a 2-0 lead, scoring a pair of goals in the first eight minutes, the second straight game Gray has scored Keuka's first two goals.

Tom Rosaschi pulled the Mustangs within 2-1 on a score with 1:29 remaining in the opening quarter, before Miller, Judge, Cannon, Springer, Jones and junior Marc Sacco (East Syracuse, NY/East Syracuse-Minoa) clamped down and held Morrisville without a goal for 21 minutes and 43 seconds spanning the first, second and third quarters.

Latimer fed sophomore Matt Beebe (Syracuse, NY/LaFayette) to put Keuka up by two scores, then Cannon made a nice pass to Latimer, who ripped a shot into the corner of the net with 2:51 remaining in the second for a 4-1 lead.

Louie Geswaldo and Rosaschi each had third-quarter tallies to pull Morrisville within 4-3 with 2:52 remaining in the third, but sophomore Brendan King (Auburn, NY/Auburn) had an unassisted goal and Latimer fed freshman Jamie Kuppel (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool) for a man-up goal with 22 seconds remaining to give Keuka a 6-3 lead heading into the fourth.

Voigt fed Latimer for a man-up score 18 seconds into the fourth, and Voigt added an unassisted goal as the Green and Gold led 8-3 with 9:15 remaining.

The Mustangs clawed within 8-5 on Rosaschi's third and final score with 3:41 remaining, but Voigt tacked on an unassisted goal with 1:41 to play to clinch the win for Keuka.

"We controlled the field and were able to go from our offense to our defense pretty smoothly," Cannon said. "We did a great job getting the ball to our offense and then controlling the field and giving our defense a break. We cleared the ball well and got the ball to our offense nicely today and that was a big reason behind our win."

The Storm travel to Hilbert College for a 4 p.m. NEAC showdown on Thursday before traveling to SUNY Cobleskill for a noon clash on April 12.  

Latimer fed Beebe to put Keuka up by two scores, then Cannon made a nice pass to Latimer, who ripped a shot into the corner of the net with 2:51 remaining in the second for a 4-1 lead.