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Field hockey nearly completes upset in SUNYAC opener

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Tue, Oct 1st 2019 09:00 pm
Three players from the field hockey team celebrate junior Meaghan Lurz's goal against Cortland on Friday, Sept. 27.
Three players from the field hockey team celebrate junior Meaghan Lurz's goal against Cortland on Friday, Sept. 27.

When a program has a breakout season, there are signs of improvement all over the field. For The College at Brockport field hockey team, this could be considered somewhat of a breakout season so far. With a 6—2 record after non-conference play, the Golden Eagles already have the most wins since the 2013 season. Brockport has seen development and nearly saw its hard work pay off against a tough conference foe.

Following a 4-1 victory over Houghton College on Tuesday, Sept. 24, Brockport began SUNYAC play against arguably its toughest competition of the season. SUNY Cortland visited the Golden Eagles on Friday, Sept. 27 and was tested more than it had been in recent seasons.

Cortland has dominated the matchup between the two teams in recent years. The Red Dragons have not lost to Brockport since 2004 and have won 6-0 each of the last two years. Cortland also knocked off then-ranked University of Rochester and lost a close game to #11 Montclair State University earlier this season. The 2019 game was much different than the previous two, but the Red Dragons still came out on top.

In what proved to be a very even first half, Brockport and Cortland played to a scoreless tie for the first 20 minutes. Cortland finally broke through in the 21st minute, finding the back of the cage off a penalty corner. The game went into halftime with the visitors claiming a 1-0 lead. Despite even possession time for both teams, Cortland took nine shots to Brockport’s one and also won the penalty corner battle 6-2.

The second half proved to be a different story. Brockport controlled possession and took an abundance of shots. The third period, in particular, was dominated by the Golden Eagles. Brockport took nine shots in the period to Cortland’s two. One of those nine shots resulted in a goal off the stick of junior forward Meaghan Lurz. With Cortland’s defense playing so stout, it took a good play and some luck to even up the score.

“It was a lot of pressure to get down there, but [junior midfielder] Emily Hall had a great cross and I was just in the right place at the right time and the goalie was looking the other way,” Lurz said.

After Lurz’s seventh goal of the season, Brockport’s pressure continued. While it did not result in many more shots, Cortland was unable to get more clean looks on goal. The Red Dragons took three penalty corners at the end of the third period but only recorded two shots during that time.

The fourth quarter was primarily played in the middle of the field, resulting in minimal scoring chances. Cortland took four penalty corners and four shots in the quarter while Brockport registered one penalty corner and two shots. Freshman defender Emma Acevedo put a shot on goal with just 36 seconds left in the game that was saved. Brockport was unable to register a putback attempt and the game went to overtime.

It only took a minute and two seconds for Cortland to score a goal to avoid the upset. After the game, Brockport head coach Krista Archambeau was disappointed by the way her team lost, but also saw many positives to take away from the game.

“I’m very proud of my team,” Archambeau said. “I had full confidence that we could hang with the best. It’s just getting everybody on the same page and having a young team believe that they are able to beat a team like Cortland.”

With the loss, Brockport falls to 6—3 on the season and 0—1 in SUNYAC play. After playing toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the conference, the Golden Eagles have proven themselves to be a serious threat in SUNYAC play despite not coming away with the victory.

Brockport’s next opportunity to collect a victory will be on Wednesday, Oct. 2 against Elmira College at home. A conference game will follow, as SUNY New Paltz visits Dr. Linda Arena & Class of ’69 Field Hockey Venue next, on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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