Lacrosse teams off to winning start

The lacrosse teams started their season off strong, as the men picked up two wins over Utica and Nazareth and the women triumphed in their season opener against RIT.

The men's team, voted 17th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, traveled to Utica College on Wednesday, March 5 and lived up to their billing, downing the Pioneers by a score of 15-6. The Knights welcomed the chance to play outside after having spent the majority of their time practicing and running drills indoors.

"Anytime you practice in a gym, it's tough to get out on the field for the first time," said head coach Jim Lyons. "I was really pleased with our performance."

After surrendering an early goal, the Knights reeled off nine in a row to take a 9-1 lead into halftime. They would add seven more goals in the second half en route to the victory. The Knights were led by junior attacker Tom Costanza's four goals and three assists and senior attacker Mike Pizzuto, who scored a goal to go along with four assists.

"He's got great quickness and all the tools," said Lyons about Costanza. "But really, it could have been any number of our guys putting up big points."

Senior midfielder Steve Hutton and freshman attacker Craig Lange added three goals and one assist each. Also adding goals for the Knights were sophomore midfielder Ray Ryan, junior midfielder Jim Fiacco, senior midfielder Ryan Plante and sophomore attacker Roby Farchione. The Knights also got solid goaltending from sophomore Dennis Costanza and junior Eddie Watts.

"We are still trying to figure out who to start and right now both guys are playing well enough to earn that role," said Lyons of his goaltenders.

Bolstered by the season-opening win, the team improved their record to 2-0 with a 13-12 win at 15th-ranked Nazareth College on Tuesday.

Trailing 12-11 with 2:33 left in the game against the team that knocked the Knights out of the 2007 NCAA tournament, Pizzuto, who had five assists in the game, scored his only goal of the game to tie it at 12. With just six seconds left in regulation, senior Joe Malach scored the winning goal on an assist from Pizzuto to put the Knights ahead for good.

"We killed off an important penalty which set it all up, and Joe just took a beautiful shot," said Lyons.

Tom Costanza led the Knights with four goals while Lange and junior Mike Cintineo each added two goals for the Knights. Geneseo again received solid goaltending from both Watts and Dennis Costanza.

Although it was big win for the Knights, Lyons acknowledged that there are still a lot of games to be played.

"Anytime you go to someone else's field and come away with a win, you have to be happy," he said. "But it's a long season and the key is to not focus on one game like this."

The Knights will take their 2-0 record to Hobart College on March 14, where they will take on Keuka College at 3:30 p.m.

The women's team, meanwhile, opened their season with a 13-8 road victory over RIT on March 11. The Knights burst out of the gates in the first half as they tallied six straight goals, but went into halftime with only a 6-4 lead.

Geneseo again came out firing in the second stanza, however, and opened with five unanswered goals to essentially put the game away.

The Knights were led by junior Laura Kitts, who tallied three goals and two assists, and junior Maggie Morris, who scored four times. Sophomore Tara Murphy added three goals and senior Shauna Leonard had two goals and two assists for the Knights, who received solid play between the pipes from junior Hannah McKee, who made 12 saves to help preserve the victory.

The Knights will travel to Orlando, Fla., over Spring Break, where they will take on Franklin Pierce University on March 16.