MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College men's lacrosse team earned a second straight trip to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament after claiming the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) title Saturday, and will face-off against Nationally Ranked number one by the US Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, Ithaca College, today at 4 p.m. in Ithaca.
Live stats and video are available, with links on the college's web page at www.morrisvillestateathletics.com.
For those traveling to the game at Higgins Field, tickets are $6 per adult, and $3 for senior citizens and students.
Morrisville State enters the contest with a 13-2 overall record, riding a 10 game win streak into the opening round of championship action, earning the bid with a 16-11 defeat of Keuka College in the NEAC finals.
The Mustangs are up to the challenge in taking on one of the top teams in the nation, but will have their hands full as Ithaca College enters the contest with an 18-1 overall record, riding a 16 game win streak into the opening round, and has not been upended since the 7-8 loss to Rensselaer on March 5.
A balanced offensive unit will lead Morrisville State in today's contest, one that averages 14.73 goals per game. Seniors Louie Geswaldo (Lafayette, N.Y.) and John Sherlock (Tully, N.Y.) lead the Mustangs with 60 and 49 points, respectively, with Geswaldo carrying the goal lead with 37 on the year.
Defensively, the Mustangs will rely on long sticks Trevor Jones (Lafayette, N.Y.), Sean Fay (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Chad Izyk (North Syracuse, N.Y.) to put up a wall in front of senior goalkeeper Chris Fiore (Staten Island, N.Y.).
Fiore enters the contest with a 7.28 goals against average between the pipes, including a 60.1 save percentage, but will be tested as he faces a high scoring offensive unit that has on average put up 17.37 goals per game on the year. Ithaca has three players with 50+ points on the season, including leader Jake Cotton who has 88 points behind 40 goals and 48 assists.
Morrisville State will need to play a complete 60 minutes of lacrosse against the Bombers, who has used a strong second quarter to get the best of their opponents. To date, Ithaca has outscored opponents 109 to 28 alone in the second frame.
At the center stripe, Morrisville State's John Petriello (Carmel, N.Y.) and Scott Augustine (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) hold the advantage having won 68% of face-offs take this year, but Ithaca is not far behind as they have collected a 61.7 win percentage from the center X on the season.
This is the second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament under head coach Jason Longo (77-35, seven seasons – 68.75 win percentage), who has led the Mustangs to its fifth regular season title (third with an undefeated conference record), and third overall NEAC Tournament Title in seven seasons.
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.