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Plattsburgh State attackman Luke Weidlein (6) tries to get around Geneseo defenseman Kevin Hennigan (14) during Saturday-s SUNYAC lacrosse game at the Plattsburgh State Fieldhouse

PLATTSBURGH -- The Plattsburgh State men's lacrosse team, against some of the better competition it faced this season, had a bad habit of digging a hole for itself early on in games.

That was the case once again Saturday afternoon as the Cardinals dug a huge hole for themselves.

Geneseo raced out to a 14-3 lead at the half and withstood the Cardinals' determined comeback attempt for an 18-14 victory in State University of New York Athletic Conference play at the Plattsburgh State Fieldhouse.

"The first quarter was a nightmare -- a very forgettable first quarter," said Plattsburgh State head coach P.J. Kavanagh. "The entire first half was a nightmare.

"But, we really hung in there in the second half and that revealed the character of the guys. I was proud of their effort."

The Cardinals ended their season with a 2-4 conference mark and 9-6 overall record. The Plattsburgh loss, coupled with Oneonta's 9-5 win at Brockport, dashed the Cardinals' SUNYAC Tournament hopes.

The Knights (6-4, 4-1) jumped out to a 7-1 advantage in the first quarter and then Andrew Hanover tallied the final four goals of the half as Geneseo built its lead to 11 goals.

"They are an excellent team and they scored the first five goals in the first quarter," said Kavanagh. "They scored two right off the bat, their first by a long stick midfielder. He's a good player, but we didn't have any help defense."

To their credit, the Cardinals didn't mail it in.

"I talked to the guys at the half and asked them how we were going to go out," said Kavanagh. "I reflected back to our games against Clarkson and Cortland where our hearts weren't in it in the second half.

"But, the guys came out and played hard in the second half."

The Cardinals began to chip away. Plattsburgh State cut its deficit to 15-8 before the Knights scored the last two goals of the third period for a 17-8 lead.

"We couldn't finish the momentum we had in the third quarter," Kavanagh said. "We were a man up when they scored their final two goals of the third.

"That took some momentum out of our sails."

Not for long, however.

Plattsburgh State rattled off six goals in a row to make it 17-14 with still 4:46 left in the contest.

But, that was as close as the Cardinals would get as Mike Pizzuto finished the scoring for Geneseo with 1:58 remaining in the fourth.

"We scored six-straight goals in the fourth and regained the momentum," Kavanagh said. "Then they got the last goal and they have an excellent faceoff man which makes it extra tough."

Hanover led the Knights with six goals and an assist, while Pizzuto finished with four goals and two assists.

Frank Sangiovanni was the big gun for Plattsburgh with five goals, while Kyle Norchi finished with three goals and three assists and Luke Weidlein, three assists.

Matt Billia chipped in with two goals for the Cardinals and Matt Maes, Bryan Copius, Pete Quinn and Adrian Marino all added one.

Geneseo held a 40-32 edge in shots and a slim 38-36 advantage in ground balls. Both teams were 3-for-6 in man-up situations.

Billy Hughes (7) and Michael Dell'Aera (4) combined for 11 saves for the Cardinals.

"It was the final game for our seniors, who have meant a lot to our program," Kavanagh said. "Senior captain Pete Quinn had a career year this season with 11 goals and four assists, while Ryan Cavanagh will be missed for his excellent work on faceoffs.

"But, we do return nine of our top 10 scorers next season and we need to build on the momentum of our second half today."

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Geneseo 18, Plattsburgh 14

Score by periods:

Geneseo 7 7 3 1 -- 18

Plattsburgh 1 2 5 6 -- 14

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Geneseo scoring

Andrew Hanover, 6 goals, 1 assist. Mike Pizzuto, 4 goals, 2 assists. Dan Balestra, 2 goals, 1 assist. Erich Dehm, 2 goals. Austin Johnson, 2 goals. Rick Bova, 1 goal, 2 assists. James Brandon, 1 goal. Steve Hutton, 2 assists, Jim Fiacco, 1 assist. Joe Malach, 1 assist. Tim McDermott, 1 assist.

Plattsburgh scoring

Frank Sangiovanni, 5 goals. Kyle Norchi, 3 goals, 3 assists. Matt Billia, 2 goals. Matt Maes, 1 goal, 1 assist. Bryan Copius, 1 goal, 1 assist. Pete Quinn, 1 goal. Adrian Marino, 1 goal. Luke Weidlein, 3 assists, Ian Helmer, 1 assist.

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Shots: Geneseo 40, Plattsburgh 32.

Ground balls: Geneseo 38, Plattsburgh 36.

Faceoffs: Geneseo, 19-36. Plattsburgh, 17-36.

Clears: Geneseo, 15-23. Plattsburgh, 11-22.

Extra-man opportunities: Geneseo, 3-6. Plattsburgh, 3-6.

Saves: Tim Garback (6), Steven Matthews (1), Eddie Watts (3), Geneseo, 10. Billy Hughes (7), Michael Dell'Aera (4), Plattsburgh, 11.

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