The Ithaca College men’s lacrosse team, who is ranked No. 1 in the nation, took down Montclair State University 11–8 in the second round of the NCAA Championship on May 14 in Higgins Stadium.
After scoring the most goals in a game all season in their previous game against Morrisville State College, the Bombers’ 11 goals are the fewest they have scored in a win this season. They are now moving on to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championship.
The game was tightly contested from the start. Sophomore midfielder Stephen Morrell and freshman midfielder Josh Della Puca scored the first two goals of the game for the Bombers. The Red Hawks answered back later in the quarter, with goals from junior midfielders Shaun Sterner and Corey Carlson. Morrell netted another one for the Bombers before the end of the quarter, but the Red Hawks evened out the score with eight seconds remaining in the first off of the stick of junior attackman Brady Wulster.
The Blue and Gold shut out the Red Hawks in the second quarter and retook the lead after scoring three goals. Sophomore attackman Jake Cotton had a hand in all of them, netting the first two and assisting freshman midfielder Conner Crosson on the third. He now has 97 points this season, setting a new school record for points in a season. The record was previously held by Ted Graves ‘74 with 94 during the 1973 season.
Montclair State started their comeback in the third quarter, scoring two quick goals from Sterner and Wulster, but junior attackman John Januszkiewicz put one through for the Bombers to stop the run. The score was 7–5 in favor of the Bombers after 45 minutes of play.
Sterner cut the South Hill squad’s lead to one in the fourth quarter, but was quickly answered by senior midfielder Michael Walker to extend the lead back to two. The Red Hawks tied the game at eight with eight minutes remaining in the game with two goals off of the sticks of Wulster and senior midfielder Connor Cunningham.
With six minutes and six seconds left, Della Puca put one between the pipes to give the Bombers the lead that they would never relinquish. Junior defenseman Cody Swing scored his first career goal to build on the lead and Januszkiewicz sealed the deal with his second goal of the game.
The Bombers will take on Tufts University in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship on May 18 in Medford, Massachusetts.