Men's lax ends regular season undefeated

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Junior Cory Gray of Seneca Castle scored five goals and sophomore Matt Beebe of Syracuse added four goals with two assists as the Keuka College men’s lacrosse team concluded the 2014 regular season with a 23-10 win over SUNY Canton Friday afternoon on Senior Day.

Senior Mike Donals of Livonia added three goals with an assist, classmate Connor Latimer of Whitby, Ont. had three goals and senior Nick Scherer of Oneida totaled one goal with three assists to lead the Storm (12-0).

Senior Kenny Cannon of East Syracuse added two assists and seven groundballs, junior James Voigt of Penn Yan had a goal with two assists and sophomore Sam Cooper of Corning, added a goal and an assist as Keuka College won its 24th straight game dating to the start of the 2013 season.

Sophomore Brendan King of Auburn tallied two goals while seniors Nick Judge of Clifton Springs and Scott Miller of Penn Yan and freshman Jamie Kuppel of Liverpool each recorded a goal in the win.

The Storm’s last setback came against nationally-ranked RIT in the 2013 opener, March 9, 2013.

“To win on Senior Day was pretty cool. I’m in this to work hard and I just enjoy being a part of this awesome team,” said Judge, a captain each of the last two years.

“Right now, we are motivated by having a chance to four-peat (in NEAC’s) and having that automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament. We have the undefeated season on the line, too, so there’s a lot on the line for us. Our defense is starting to work harder and work better as a team; we’re more cohesive as a unit.”

Up next for the Storm: a home NEAC semifinal contest Wednesday afternoon against either Morrisville State (11-3, 5-1 NEAC), Hilbert College (7-4, 5-2) or Medaille College (5-5, 4-2).

Keuka College defeated Morrisville State 9-5 (April 5), Hilbert 20-7 (April 10) and Medaille 24-8 (April 16).

Scherer and classmate Andrew Smith of Livonia each collected four groundballs while junior Marc Sacco of East Syracuse caused three turnovers for the Storm in the win over Canton.

Senior Cameron Gormel of Rochester made his first career start in net and made five saves while allowing five first-half goals to earn the win.

Senior Zachary Koczent of Geneva won 60 percent of his faceoffs (9 of 15) in the win.

At halftime, the Storm honored 12 senior student-athletes for their hard work and dedication to the program. During their time on campus, the seniors have posted a 45-10 record and have won the last three North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) postseason championships.

The seniors are: Cannon, Donals, Gormel, Judge, Koczent, Latimer, Miller, Scherer, Smith, Kyle Ackart of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Jeff Roth of Honeoye Falls and Justin Strain of Hamburg.

“To get the start on Senior Day was great, I’ve been kind of waiting for it for a long time,” Gormel said. “It’s good, too, because all of my teammates really helped me as I was getting ready for this start. It’s really exciting. It was awesome and I was just out there having a lot of fun playing. To be in a game situation again is always fun.”

King, Voigt and Beebe each scored goals 2:30 apart in the first quarter to stake the Storm to a 3-0 lead. SUNY Canton (4-9) closed within 3-2 on Mike Statt’s goal with 4:14 remaining, but Latimer scored an unassisted goal for a 4-2 lead with 2:49 remaining.

Canton added a goal late in the opening quarter and trailed 4-3 heading into the second, before the Storm blitzed the Roos for six unanswered goals to open the second.

Miller scored a man-down goal, Beebe had three goals and Kuppel and Donals also scored during the run as the Storm took a 10-3 lead with 8:11 remaining in the first half.

Taylor Caswell scored halfway through the quarter to end the run, but the Green and Gold responded with four straight scores. Gray and Scherer each had man-up goals and Latimer added a pair of scores as the Storm took a 14-4 lead with 2:04 remaining and cruised to the win.