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Clarkson laxmen drop season opener at SUNY Cortland

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CORTLAND - Junior Harrison Washuta (Maple Grove, MN) made 15 saves in a busy game for the Clarkson University men’s lacrosse team defense as the Golden Knights faced a tough task in their 2014 season opener, suffering a 12-3 defeat against SUNY Cortland.

The Golden Knights will be back in action this Saturday at SUNY Brockport, looking to get into the win column in the second game of the season. Cortland improved to 3-0 on the 2014 campaign.

Though Clarkson put only one shot on goal in the first quarter, the Golden Knights played right with the second-ranked Red Dragons. Cortland held a 13-5 edge in shots and a 7-2 lead in groundballs, but made it through the first 15 minutes with only a single goal. A cross-checking penalty put the Knights down a man and Cortland’s leading scorer Nate Garbarino made them pay. Cortland worked the ball around the Clarkson defense until an opening was discovered as Zach Hopps sent a pass squarely across the crease to Garbarino to finish off the goal with 5:00 left in the quarter. Clarkson goalkeeper Harrison Washuta was up to the task in the first quarter, making six saves.

The second quarter was a different story for the Knights as Clarkson turned the ball over and Cortland took advantage of the extra opportunities through its opponent’s mistakes and by gathering in extra chances on groundballs. Garbarino scored a pair of goals in front of the Clarkson net, both unassisted, and Hopps finished off a play that was similar to the opening goal of the game, this time getting the pass from Garbarino. Another penalty allowed Cortland to pick up another goal and shortly off the ensuing faceoff the Red Dragons increased the lead to 7-0. Clarkson was able to finally slow the Red Dragons offense down in the final six minutes, but the Knights couldn’t get much going on offense to shorten the margin prior to the halftime buzzer.

Cortland held a 29-8 edge in shots and a 18-10 lead in groundballs at the half, with Washuta making nine saves in the first 30 minutes for Clarkson. Scott Tota had three saves for the Red Dragons in the first half.

Clarkson finally got on the scoreboard two minutes into the second half to build some momentum in the third period. Matt Gold (Pittsford, NY) worked against the Cortland defense on the right side and sent a pass back into the middle, finding Corey Herrington (Camillus, NY) in front of the net where the junior was able to finish off the play at 12:40. Less than two minutes later Gold picked up his first goal just a few moments after a man-up opportunity had ended to pull Clarkson back to within five at 7-2. However, the Red Dragons picked up two goals midway through the quarter and returned the advantage to seven goals prior to gaining a new-high of eight goals on a lefty bounced shot in the middle of the field from Mike Cantelli at 5:34.

In the fourth quarter the offenses became a bit stagnant with some inconsistencies, but the highlight for the Golden Knights was when Clarkson freshman Nate Smart (Navarino, NY) scored on a floater midway through the period for his first collegiate goal.

Cortland finished with a 50-23 edge in shots and a 36-25 advantage in groundballs.

POSTPONEMENTS

The SUNY Potsdam women’s lacrosse opener at Clarkson originally scheduled for this afternoon has been postponed. The game will now take place at Clarkson at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

The Bears home opener against Utica College is still on for noon on Saturday.

Meanwhile at SUNY Canton, the continued inclement weather, frigid temperatures and poor playing conditions wiped out a pair of Wednesday contests for the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.

The men were scheduled to host Wells College while the women were slated to visit Keuka College at 4 p.m. The women’s game against the Storm will now be played Tuesday, March 11, at 4 p.m. The men’s contest against the Express will be made up at a later date.

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