With most of the NCLL region impacted by an early March snow event, official games were hard to come by this weekend. But there were a handful of teams that were able to get on the pitch and get their seasons underway. Here’s a recap of a few of them.
Cortland vs Ithaca, Lemoyne
Cortland State started their season this weekend with 2 impressive wins, defeating 11th ranked Ithaca on Saturday by a score of 11-6 and Lemoyne, 10-3. The Red Dragons, who finished 2018 ranked #16 in the nation (D1 Empire Conf, 5-4), landed in our 2019 Preseason Poll at the #23 spot.
In Saturdays season opener at Ithaca, Colin Renner and Jake Bulman paced the Dragons on offense with 3 tallies each while Jake McCarthy added 2 goals. Cortland netminder Diego Alvarez snagged an amazing 30 saves, keeping the Bombers frustrated for much of the afternoon.
In the Dragons home opener on Sunday, Bulman once again sparked the Cortland offense with a pair of goals, while John Faulkner added 2 goals of his own. As they had in Saturdays match, Cortland got another solid start out of its keeper, this time it was Cristian Pineda, who held the Dolphins to just 3 goals.
Cortland Team President Michael Traumiller was pleased with his squads opening weekend performance. “It was a very hard fought, aggressive game and our offense was able to capitalize on its possessions and get a lot of shot opportunities, ” Traumiller added. “Also, Alvarez and Pineda both stood tall in the net and the defense was stellar all weekend. We look forward to welcoming Cornell next Sunday for our first conference match up.”
Xavier vs Miami, Kentucky
In our game against Miami (OH) (L6-2), Junior Attackman Jay Zoldy scored our only 2 goals. Freshman goalie Derek Wilcox had an incredible game, making between 15 and 20 saves in net, a handful of which were from shots right on the doorstop.
This was certainly a game of two halves.
In the first quarter Miami came out strong, jumping to a 3-0 lead, but Xavier possessed the ball well and answered with 2 goals before halftime to make it a 3-2 game. While the defense held strong, turnovers killed our offense, and we would fall behind in the second half and take the loss, 6-2.
In a very physical game against Kentucky, Freshmen Mac midfielders Mac Sheldon (2 goals) and John Zapytowski (1 goal) lead the charge against Kentucky. Like the game against Miami, this was a game of two halves. The first half was relatively even, as Xavier took a physical approach and had a handful of hard hits.
Halfway through the second quarter, we trailed by 1 at 4-3. But two goals in the waning minutes of the first half set the tone for the rest of the game, as Kentucky would score 7 more unanswered goals to take the game, 11-3 . Despite a handful of good possessions in the second half, Xavier simply couldn’t find the back of the net.
Despite the two losses, spirits are high in Cincinnati. Our transition game and offensive production has improved significantly from our games in the fall and our opener against Ohio State. Plus our defense looks as strong as ever. After the game, head coach Pat Nykus said “there were flashes of brilliance today”.
This is a team far removed from when we last won the division in 2014, but there is plenty of potential. We are an extremely young team, and as our chemistry continues to grow, so too will our aspirations.
Monmouth vs Rider, TCNJ, Ramapo and Hofstra
The Monmouth Hawks of the DII New York Metro Conference squeezed a total of 4 games in over this past weekend, despite the rain and snow. The Hawks opened with an impressive 12-2 vistory over Rider before capturing aa thrilling 7-6 OT win over Liberty Conference foe, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).