May 2, 2013

Cardinals roll into LAX finals

PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team wanted to make its first-ever home playoff game one to remember Wednesday afternoon.

The Cardinals did so.

Tim Lawrence and Joey Kramer accounted for four goals and one assist each as Plattsburgh (14-3, 5-1) put together a solid 15-7 victory over The College at Brockport in the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals at the Plattsburgh State Lacrosse Complex.

The win sends the second-seeded Cardinals, who are ranked No. 19 nationally, into Saturday’s 1 p.m. championship game at top-seeded Cortland. It will mark Plattsburgh’s first-ever appearance in the tournament finals.

Plattsburgh had defeated the third-seeded Golden Eagles (6-9, 3-3), 9-5, in regular season play.

“It’s hard to beat a team twice in a season,” Plattsburgh coach Ryan Cavanagh said. “But our players came out with intensity and with emotion. They wanted to protect their home field.

“We’re a quicker and faster team that likes to play an up-tempo game. We moved the ball well and possessed it well. We had very few selfish plays.”

The game was tied, at 1-all, early in the first period before the Cardinals went up by a 4-2 score after 15 minutes.

Plattsburgh then raced out to a 7-2 lead in the second. But with five seconds left in the stanza, Cardinal goalie Gordie Gehring, who otherwise played a very strong game with 10 saves, had a clearing pass intercepted by John Countryman and put into the net to cut Brockport’s deficit to 7-3.

The Golden Eagles then won the faceoff and Riley Austin got off a shot as time expired that Gehring made a nice save on.

“That was a momentum changer for us going into the second half,” Cavanagh said. “Lacrosse is a game of runs.”

The Cardinals picked up where they left off after intermission and eventually went up 11-5 in the late going of the third.

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