Photo courtesy of Mark Whitney, Morrisville State School of Liberal Arts Professor
MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The top seeded Morrisville State College men's lacrosse team is heading back to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament for a second straight year, defeating second seed Keuka College by a 16-11 final score in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship Final Saturday afternoon on Drake Field in Morrisville.
Morrisville State (13-2) will await tournament selections as announced by the NCAA Sunday night at 9 p.m. on www.ncaa.com.
Keuka concludes their season with a 12-3 overall record.
Kyle Shannon (Stanhope, N.J.) had a big game for the Mustangs, leading the way with a five goal, one assist performance for six points. All five of his tallies came in the second half, including three in the third to regain the lead for Morrisville State.
Louie Geswaldo (Lafayette, N.Y.) added three goals and assisted one, while three teammates each posted two scores, including Logan Peters (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.). Greg Esposito (Yorktown, N.Y.) also posted two tallies, along with teammate Eliud Evans (Culver City, Calif.).
Nick Geswaldo (Lafayette, N.Y.) had a four point outing for Morrisville State, notching one goal and assisting three others.
Senior goalkeeper Chris Fiore (Staten Island, N.Y.) registered 14 stops in net for the Mustangs to secure the win. Fiore was named the NEAC Tournament Most Valuable Player for a second straight year, collecting a total 27 stops across two games to lead Morrisville State to its second consecutive title.
Keuka kept the game close for nearly three quarters with a four goal outing by Andrew Burns (Syracuse, N.Y.) and another three by Brendan King (Auburn, N.Y.), but it wasn't enough as Morrisville State pulled away in the fourth for the win.
Matt Beebe (Lafayette, N.Y.) had four assists for the Wolfpack to contribute to their efforts, while three additional teammates registered points in the loss.
Keuka's Jacob Wood (Marietta, N.Y.) made 10 saves between the pipes for the Wolfpack in 54 minutes of action before Kyle Andrake (Manlius, N.Y.) finished the final six, recording one save.
The Wolfpack held the 43-38 advantage in shots, and converted two extra man opportunities on the day.
Morrisville State edged the visitors in the ground ball battle, 34-27, and at the center line, winning 17-of-30 faceoffs to Keuka's 13.
The Mustangs held the one goal advantage at the half, 6-5, before Keuka opened the third quarter with a score just 28 seconds in to tie the contest at six. Louie Geswaldo posted his third of the game just over two minutes later to regain the one goal lead for Morrisville State, but Ryan Waldron (Clay, N.Y.) scored two straight for a 8-7 Keuka lead, their first and only lead of the contest.
Morrisville State then rallied for five straight scores to finish out the quarter, including two straight by Shannon off feeds from Geswaldo to regain the lead for the top seeded hosts.
Evans extended the lead to two for the Mustangs with a score off the Louie Geswaldo pass, before Shannon added his third of the game on the man up opportunity off a streaking pass from Brad Biggs (Tully, N.Y.).
Noah Greger (Danbury, Conn.) added the final goal of the quarter for the Mustangs, winning the ground ball off a turnover and flying downfield to collect the score.
In the fourth, Keuka rallied for two straight to make it a three goal game, but scores from Nick Geswaldo and Esposito regained the five goal lead for Morrisville State with six minutes remaining in the contest.
Shannon added the final strike for the Mustangs at the 3:19 mark, securing the 16-11 win and second straight bid to the NCAA Tournament for Morrisville State.
Tournament selections will be held by the NCAA online at www.ncaa.com at 9 p.m. ET tomorrow night.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2016 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2016 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.