A scoreless second half condemned the 22nd-ranked men’s lacrosse team (11—5 overall, 6—1 Empire 8) to an 11-3 defeat against the 10th-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks (14—2 overall, 6—1 Empire 8) today at Higgins Stadium.
With the win, Stevens clinched the top seed in the Empire 8 Conference tournament and a probable rematch with St. John Fisher College (11—4 overall, 5-2 Empire 8) who defeated them April 7.
The Bombers could not solve the Ducks’ zone defense and were forced into outside shots that proved to be no problem for Stevens freshman goalie Matthew Deiner. Deiner, who recorded nine saves, was helped by the Bombers’ inaccuracy as only 14 of the Blue and Gold’s 38 shots were on goal. Head Coach Jeff Long said that the South Hill squad’s poor shooting was the difference.
“Poor shooting and ground balls were the key to the whole game,” Long said. “We didn’t finish and had poor shot selection and they would pick up every groundball.”
The Ducks picked up 33 groundballs to Ithaca’s 24 and won ten of the fifteen faceoffs in the game. Deiner said he owed his defense credit for forcing the Bombers into poor shots.
“The first half they had all their goals in the crease but our poles tightened up and did a good job keeping them outside,” he said.
Stevens senior attack Alex Hofrichter scored six goals to lead all scorers while sophomore attack Pat Slawta scored twice to lead the Blue and Gold.
The South Hill squad will face Nazareth College (8—8 overall, 5—2 Empire 8) this Wednesday at Higgins Stadium in the Empire 8 Conference semifinals. The Golden Flyers clinched the third seed in the tournament with a win against Elmira College this afternoon. The Bombers won the regular season meeting against Nazareth 11-5 on April 7 at Higgins Stadium. In that game, the Blue and Gold held the Golden Flyers scoreless for 32 minutes. Long said he expects to face a zone defense on Wednesday.
“People like to play zone against us because we don’t have the smartest shooters,” Long said
Senior Devin Weinshank said the offense needs to be crisper in order to beat the zone and win.
“We just have to move [the ball] faster, hit our shots, switch up the levels and shoot to the goalie’s weak sides,” he said.
Long said that sophomore midfielder Jacob Long suffered a concussion and is questionable for Wednesday’s game.