The No. 18-ranked Geneseo men's lacrosse team fell to No. 17 Nazareth College 14-9 on Saturday, dropping their season record to 1-1.
"I felt like the advantage [Nazareth] had was in the intangible, hustle category," head coach Jim Lyons said. "They created good luck for themselves by working harder than we did, and that was the difference. It was ground balls and fluky goals." Nazareth beat the Knights 31-24 on ground balls.
Geneseo took a 4-2 lead after the first period thanks to a pair of goals from seniors Bobby King and Craig Lange.
Nazareth then took control of the game, scoring five goals in each of the second and third periods to outscore the Knights 10-3 and outshoot them 19-11 during those two periods.
"We didn't stop them from making their run," Lyons said. "We needed to get the next goal and it took us too many chances."
After Nazareth achieved a four-goal run at the start of the second, freshman James Purpura scored his fourth goal of the season to pull the Knights within one. Nazareth extended the lead back to two to take a 7-5 lead going into the half.
Nazareth extended its lead in the third despite goals from King and junior Jeff Watson.
In the fourth, Nazareth scored its third man-up goal of the game in four chances; the Knights went only 1-6 on their man-up opportunities.
"We just need more work. It's a function of time," Lyons said. "[Nazareth] shot well man-up. It wasn't anything we did against them. They finished their opportunities."
Freshman Ryan Zaremba made nine saves and allowed 14 goals, taking the loss in goal, and sophomore Frank DiSanti went 10-26 on face offs.
One positive Geneseo took from the loss was the ability to clear, going 13-16 on the game. "Our clearing game has been as good if not better than it was last year," Lyons said. "Now it's more of a team-oriented clear … that was a good facet of our game Saturday." In the 2010 season, Division III goalie of the year Dennis Costanza '10 was a key part of the clear.
Seniors Scott Cost and Ray Ryan each added a goal in the fourth, but the Knights' comeback attempt came up short.
"We didn't fail to generate opportunities; we missed scoring chances," Lyons said. "We need to figure out how to play inside and have it work for us outside. We need to become a field-tough team as opposed to a gym-tough team."
The Knights travel to Florida next week for two games against St. Lawrence University and Keene State College.