PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo sophomore attackman Tim Fallo scored the game-winning goal with seven seconds left in regulation to lift the Knights to an 11-10 victory over host Plattsburgh in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Men's Lacrosse Semifinals, Wednesday.
Geneseo (8-9) advances to the SUNYAC Championship for the first time since 2012 and will travel to top-seeded Cortland on Saturday (May 4) for a 1:00 p.m. faceoff with an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament on the line. The Red Dragons defeated fourth-seeded Oswego, 13-10, in the afternoon's other semifinal.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- First-year midfielder Tommy DeVito won the opening face-off and bolted down the field to stuff a shot into the Cardinal net 12 seconds into the game.
- Plattsburgh responded with two goals for a 2-1 lead with 10:28 on the clock, but the Knights finished the quarter with a 4-0 burst for a 5-2 lead after 15 minutes of play. Senior midfielder Jack Centore found sophomore attackman James Pratt on the left post for a score at 9:12 before first-year midfielder Jake Steffen tallied on a 10-yard shot from the right wing at 7:51. Sophomore attackman Connor Griffin found himself open on top of the Cardinal crease and scored off a pass from first-year attackman Kevin Cook at 5:41 before Pratt got loose for a 12-yard shot from the right wing at 4:07.
- Plattsburgh scored the first four goals of the second quarter to build a 6-5 edge with 4:18 on the clock. Geneseo stopped the run after Fallo got open on the backside of a play in transition and scored inside the left post off a pass from sophomore midfielder Cameron Chiodo with 2:53 on the clock as the teams hit halftime tied, 6-6.
- Geneseo scored the first goal of the third quarter after Pratt came up with a loose ball behind the Plattsburgh cage and hit Fallo in front for a seven-yard finish at 8:45, before Plattsburgh made the Knights pay for a slashing penalty with a man-up tally at 5:28.
- The Knights answered with a man-up goal of their own after forcing a turnover at midfield during a Plattsburgh clearing attempt that resulted in Steffen finishing an odd-man rush from close range off a Pratt feed with 2:09 left in the third quarter.
- Griffin started the fourth quarter with consecutive man-up goals on two separate Plattsburgh holding penalties to build a 10-7 lead. Griffin took a feed down low from Steffan and spun around for a five-yard bouncer with 9:05 on the clock before grabbing a rebound out of the air on a deflected Pratt shot for a short finish with 8:40 remaining.
- The Cardinals responded with three goals in less than a three minutes span. Plattsburgh scored on a delayed penalty at the 6:00 mark and again in transition at 4:26 before knotting the game, 10-10, with 3:03 left in regulation.
- Plattsburgh took possession after a Geneseo shot-clock violation with under a minute remaining and called timeout with 21.8 seconds on the clock. However, the Cardinals turned the ball over on the re-start after having too many men in their offensive zone. Geneseo quickly cleared the ball down the right wing where Cook got the ball outside the right post and crossed a feed to Fallo for a short-range quick-stick that sealed the game.
- Griffin ended the game with three goals while Pratt finished with two goals and two assists and Steffen added two goals and one assist.
- Geneseo won 16-of-25 face-offs, including 7-of-10 by first-year midfielder Ryan Lee and 9-of-15 by DeVito.
- The Knights won the ground ball battle, 37-31, including five apiece by Lee, Pratt and first-year LSM Ryan McMullen.
- Junior goalie Tyler Wetzel was credited with nine saves for his first career playoff victory.
- Geneseo snapped a seven-game losing streak to Plattsburgh while moving to 15-8 in 23 all-time meetings. The Knights also improved to 3-0 opposite the Cardinals in the SUNYAC Tournament after also winning semifinal games in 2009 (21-11) and 2012 (7-5).
- Geneseo is now 10-3 in the SUNYAC Tournament semifinals, advancing to eight-straight championship matches from 2003-10 and again in 2012. The Knights will be in the hunt for their fourth SUNYAC Championship, winning the tournament in 2004 and 2007 after also being awarded the 1982 crown after finishing the season with the best conference record in the regular season.