Men’s Lax Captures NEAC Regular Season Title
The road to a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men's lacrosse championship will run through the three-time defending champions from Keuka College after the Storm wrapped up the regular-season title with Tuesday's 19-4 triumph over SUNYIT at the Jephson Community Athletic Complex.
Senior Connor Latimer (Whitby, Ont./Father Leo J. Austin) scored seven points (three goals, four assists) and junior James Voigt (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) added four goals and two assists to power the Storm (11-0, 7-0 NEAC).
Sophomore Matt Beebe (Syracuse, NY/LaFayette) added three goals with one assist and freshman Jamie Kuppel (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool) added two goals with an assist as the Storm earned their 23rd consecutive win dating to the start of the 2013 season.
Entering play Tuesday, Keuka College is one of three undefeated Division III teams in the country, along with No. 1 RIT and No. 4 Denison (Ohio) University. Both RIT and Denison are 15-0.
Keuka College will now host a NEAC semifinal contest April 30. The NEAC championship is May 3.
Latimer now has 33 goals and 23 assists in 11 games and is averaging 3.0 goals per game with 5.1 points per game. He ranks 11th in the country among Division II student-athletes in points per game, and is 28th in goals per game.
Seniors Mike Donals (Livonia, NY/Livonia) and Nick Judge (Clifton Springs, NY/Midlakes) each added goals, as did juniors Cory Gray (Seneca Castle, NY/Midlakes) and Derek Pfeiffer (Lee Center, NY/Rome Free Academy).
Senior Kenny Cannon (East Syracuse, NY/East Syracuse-Minoa) collected six groundballs, while freshman Matt Mahalick (LaFayette, NY/LaFayette) had five groundballs and Kuppel added four groundballs in the win.
Senior Zachary Koczent (Geneva, NY/Geneva) won 10 of 15 faceoffs while Mahalick won 8 of 11 faceoffs.
Senior Scott Miller (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) caused four turnovers for the Green and Gold, who held the Wildcats (2-11, 1-5) to one goal in each quarter.
Junior Eric Saltrelli (Webster, NY/Webster Schroeder) improved to 7-0 after making 10 saves through the first three quarters. Senior Cameron Gormel (Rochester, NY/Gates Chili) came on in the fourth and made two saves while allowing one goal.
Voigt scored twice while Pfeiffer, King, Judge and Latimer added tallies as the Storm led 6-1 heading into the second quarter.
Beebe added a pair of goals and Latimer, Voigt and Kuppel also scored in the second as Keuka College took an 11-2 lead into halftime and cruised to its 25th straight NEAC victory.
The Storm host SUNY Canton at 4 p.m. Friday on Parents' and Senior Day, and the Green and Gold will honor 12 student-athletes for their hard work and dedication to the program.
The seniors are: Cannon, Donals, Gormel, Judge, Koczent, Latimer, Miller, Kyle Ackart (Mechanicsburg, Pa./West Potomac), Jeff Roth (Honeoye Falls, NY/Honeoye Falls-Lima), Nick Scherer (Oneida, NY/Oneida), Andrew Smith (Livonia, NY/Livonia) and Justin Strain (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg).