MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College men's lacrosse team advanced to the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) title game for a fourth straight year on their home turf after defeating Keuka College by a 17-5 final score Wednesday in Morrisville.
The Mustangs (10-7) will be making the programs seventh overall appearance in the NEAC Championship Final, facing second seeded Bryn Athyn College, who advanced with an 8-4 win over Hilbert in the other semifinal earlier today.
Morrisville State exploded for 11 second half tallies, including two of a game total four scores off the stick of junior attackman, Nick Geswaldo (Lafayette, N.Y.). Geswaldo's fourth tally came at the 4:41 mark of the final quarter, and was one for the record books for the junior, who surpassed Mustang alum and brother, Louie Geswaldo, to become the all-time scoring leader in program history with 123 career goals.
Geswaldo added three assists to his tallies on the afternoon to lead the Mustangs in scoring, with fellow attackman Chris Dovi (Cortland, N.Y.) netting the hat trick with three scores while dishing out an assist.
Senior Brad Biggs (Tully, N.Y.) posted two goals to go along with his three assists, while Logan Peters (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Mike Ready (Lafayette, N.Y.) each added two goals. Peters also recorded two assists.
Senior Dan Sherlock (Tully, N.Y.) recorded the win between the pipes, making nine stops, including five in the third quarter, to secure the win.
Morrisville State, for a second straight time against the Wolves, dominated the center face-off, winning 20-of-26, 10 from junior Shawn Walberger (Fulton, N.Y.) and another seven from Nate McCormick (Cortland, N.Y.).
The Mustangs also won the ground ball battle, large in part due to the success at the center x, but also from a big day in the hustle of Dovi who picked up a team high seven along with Walberger.
Keuka jumped out ahead early, as Craig Gerhardt put away the feed from Kasey Olsen for a 1-0 visitor lead before Dovi posted back-to-back scores for the Mustangs to give the hosts the one goal edge.
Geswaldo added his first of the afternoon at the 7:04 mark of the opening quarter before a score from Seth Bush brought Keuka back to within one, 3-2, to end the first frame.
The Mustangs scored all three goals in the second quarter to carry a 6-2 lead into the half, one from Biggs who was all alone on the crease and one-timed the dish from Geswaldo in. Geswaldo collected his 43rd of the season at the 5:42 mark before Peters rifled one from the outside past Keuka goalkeeper Ryan Mavertish. Mavertish finished with 11 stops on the day.
Morrisville State carried momentum into the third quarter, netting two before Keuka was able to break their scoring drought. Eric Fisher (Nutley, N.J.) posted the Mustangs seventh goal of the day at the 13:58 mark, before a second tally from Peters gave the hosts the 8-2 advantage.
Keuka, who went scoreless for nearly 26 minutes, broke through the Morrisville State defense with a tally from Andrew Burns, adding another from Bush just over a minute later to cut into the Mustangs lead and bring the Wolves within four.
Morrisville State, though, added two before the end of the third, regaining their six goal advantage heading into the final quarter of action.
Keuka collected one early as Mark Shattuck put away his 25th of the season, cutting the game to five, but that's as close as they would get as the Mustangs rattled off seven unanswered scores, including the record setting tally by Geswaldo to walk away with the 17-5 victory.
Morrisville State will meet Bryn Athyn for the first time in the NEAC final, and a second time this season. Earlier in April, the Mustangs topped the Lions 11-9.
The opening face-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Drake Field on the Morrisville State College campus.
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 & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.