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Men's lacrosse grabs first SUNYAC win in final game

by Carson Werner - Sports Editor
Tue, Apr 30th 2019 03:25 pm
Brockport men's lacrosse team's seniors and their families are celebrated in honor of the Golden Eagles' senior day on Saturday, April 27.  The seniors, midfielder Billy Coppola (#5), attacker Nick Daigle (#5), goalie John Clancy (#6) and attacker Jacob Recor (#30), concluded their Brockport careers with a win over the Plattsburgh Cardinals.
Brockport men's lacrosse team's seniors and their families are celebrated in honor of the Golden Eagles' senior day on Saturday, April 27. The seniors, midfielder Billy Coppola (#5), attacker Nick Daigle (#5), goalie John Clancy (#6) and attacker Jacob Recor (#30), concluded their Brockport careers with a win over the Plattsburgh Cardinals.

After five conference games that resulted in defeat, The College at Brockport men’s lacrosse team finally earned its first SUNYAC win of the season over Plattsburgh. The second place Cardinals possessed a 4—1 record entering Brockport’s senior day on Saturday, April 27, at Bob Boozer Field. In what was the Golden Eagles’ most dominating game in the second half of the season, the victory came better late than never.

Brockport was able to get on the board early against Plattsburgh when junior midfielder Corey Choberka found the back of the net. Senior midfielder Billy Coppola followed that up less than a minute later with another score, giving the Golden Eagles a 2-0 advantage after one quarter. Plattsburgh was able to score early in the second quarter to cut the lead in half. Coppola scored his second goal of the game and helped Brockport close the half with a 3-1 lead. 

The Cardinals were unable to contain Coppola in the second half as well, as he scored Brockport’s first goal of the second half and his third of the game. After Plattsburgh scored just two minutes later, sophomore midfielder Brendan Halleran answered with a goal. With Brockport sporting a commanding 5-2 lead after three quarters, a win felt inevitable. 

Choberka netted his second goal of the day early in the fourth quarter. With the game already in hand, Coppola netted his fourth goal of the day with just over two minutes to go in the contest. When the final horn sounded, Brockport secured itself a 7-2 win in its final game of the year. 

Sophomore attacker Peter Scavone had recognized a difference in the way the team played against Plattsburgh compared to its preceding opponents.

“We all finally decided to play for each other,” Scavone said. “For a good portion of the season, the team played as individuals. But against Plattsburgh, we decided to play as a team and it finally worked out for us.”

Before the game’s opening whistle, Brockport had honored its four seniors who will be departing following the conclusion of this semester. Goalie John Clancy, attacker Nick Daigle, midfielder Billy Coppola and attacker Jake Recor stood as the veterans throughout the campaign and used their experience to support the young squad. 

“One thing I tried to leave behind to the younger guys on the team, is the importance of accepting your role and doing it to the best of your ability to help the team be successful,” Recor said.

As part of the attacking unit, Recor finished sixth on the team in goals scored and accounted for nearly 10 percent of the team’s 106 goals. However, the majority of the Golden Eagles’ youthful offense will return to hopefully rejuvenate it’s latent offense as of the past few years. 

On the other end of the field, freshman goalie John Felice will be taking full responsibility as the starter with Clancy graduating at the end of the year. Felice had started all but two games between the pipes this year and was the only netminder to earn a win during the season. Felice finished at six wins and six losses with a save percentage of .520 and a goals against average of 10.09 in 14 games. However, it’s not the backfield that Brockport is worried about improving next year. It’s the offense.

Of the 558 shots that the Golden Eagles took this year, 325 were on goal. Of the 325 that made it to the intended destination, only 106 of them resulted in goals. Brockport’s shot-to-goal percentage at the end of the 2019 season was just 19 percent. In comparison to the SUNYAC, Brockport’s percentage is extremely low compared to the conference average of 25.5 percent. 

“We outshot our opponents almost every game but we just had some trouble finishing our shots,” Recor said. “We had good schemes and put ourselves into good positions but we had some trouble placing our shots and putting them in the back of the net.

Luckily, the top three scorers of the 2019 campaign will be returning for another season next spring. Sophomore attacker Patrick Sheridan led the team with 15 goals on the year, while junior midfielder Corey Choberka and sophomore attacker Liam O’Connor both tied in second with 14. Between the three of them, they accounted for nearly half of Brockport’s total tallies. If the Golden Eagle veterans take on larger roles and new faces fill in the empty spots on next year’s team, the men’s lacrosse team can expect a major improvement.