The men's lacrosse team is in the SUNYAC final after defeating Potsdam 16-8 on Wednesday. The Knights turned sloppy play and turnovers by the Bears into early goals, taking a 7-2 lead behind junior Tom Costanza's three goals in the first quarter.
"We got off to such a fast start," said head coach Jim Lyons. "That helps so much…it made all the difference today." Lyons also pointed to his team's dominant early performance in faceoffs, led by sophomore Erik Baranowski, as key in staking the Knights to a 9-3 halftime lead.
Despite an offensive lapse in the second half, Geneseo's defense held strong, allowing Potsdam only 23 shots on goal, compared to 41 for the Knights. Junior netminder Eddie Watts was strong in goal, making eight saves.
Freshman Craig Lange tallied three goals and two assists, senior Mike Pizzuto tallied five assists and a goal and classmate Joe Malach notched a pair of goals and assists.
Costanza totaled eight goals in the game to give him 49 for the season, breaking Don Litzleman's record of 47 set in 1982.
The win moved Geneseo to 12-2 on the season as they prepare to take on rival Cortland in the SUNYAC final this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Despite coming off an 18-7 drubbing at the hands of the Red Dragons just last week, Lyons was confident his team could produce a different result in the upcoming title tilt.
"We made a lot of mental mistakes last time," he said. "They've got great players, but if we're smarter [than last time] I think we have enough great players to get the job done."
Aside from the momentum gained from Wednesday's SUNYAC win, the Knights can also look to a victory last Saturday against Plattsburgh for confidence. Geneseo defeated the Cardinals 22-9 in their regular-season finale.
The Knights came out shooting to take an early lead, and they would not yield for the rest of the game. Halfway through the first quarter, junior attacker Jim Fiacco scored his second goal of the game, sparking an 11-1 Geneseo run that stretched all the way through halftime.
With a strong lead in the second half, the Knights relied more on ball movement, collecting nine assists after just five on their 12 goals in the first. Malach led the team with four assists adding one goal, but Geneseo's standout performance came from Costanza. He started by scoring the game's first goal and did not let up, going on to score a Geneseo season-high seven goals, adding one assist.