Brockport fall in SUNYAC opener
By: Aiden Locke
BROCKPORT, N.Y. --- The Brockport Golden Eagles women's lacrosse team opened conference play against Cortland at home on Saturday March 25th. Cortland who came into this game ranked No. 15 in division III lacrosse. Cortland fans probably expected their team to come in and roll through the Golden Eagles, but that couldn’t have been further from the case.
The first quarter goal scoring was opened up by Brockport’s leading goal scorer, Cassidy Burnash who scored number 14 and 15 for goals on the season in this game. The senior scored unassisted to start the game. Cortland just over two minutes later would even the score with a goal from Amy Hoeffner with a great feed from Rachel Rempe.
Brockport would then go on a small two goal run in the final three minutes of the quarter after a lot of hard defensive play from both sides. The first of the two goals came from midfielder Alayna Foos by way of her outstanding ability to deke defenders and create her own open shots. The second goal came from an outstanding sequence by Burnash and midfielder Courtney Cunningham. Burnash held the ball along goal like extended after pushing up from X, she would then face strong defense from Cortland and throw up an alley-oop esc lob pass to Cunningham who was able to extend out and up to slam the ball in without even properly securing the ball in her stick. This goal was likely the number one highlight from either team through the whole game.
The second quarter saw a reversal of the 3-1 Brockport run in the first quarter. Cortland was able to tie the game up before half by way of three different goal scores (Kloepfer, Hoeffner, and Janis). Meanwhile Alayna Foos would net her second goal of the game unassisted. The unassisted goals were a big theme for Brockport in this matchup as the only assisted goal came from the showstoping sequence between Burnash and Cunningham at the end of the first quarter. This was quite the opposite for Cortland however as half of their ten goals were assisted on. Through two quarters there was very little separating these two talented teams as they were neck and neck both on the field and in the box score.
The third quarter saw four total goals, two apiece as the game continued to be ultra competitive which is really all you can ask for if you're a coach from either side. Cortland opened up the second half goal scoring by way of an unassisted goal from Lauren Hopsicker. Just under 2 minutes later Brockport would tie the game back up again from another outstanding individual effort from midfielder Alayna Foos as she would take just two and half quarters to complete her hat trick. The third goal of the quarter also went Brockport’s way after a fantastic shot in traffic from Paige Thowe to give the Golden Eagles their first and only lead of the second half. Cortland would get one back with just 2:44 left on the clock in the third quarter.
The fourth and final quarter would see Cortland open up a 4 goal run which was carried over by the late third quarter goal. All three of these additional goals were scored by attacker Toni Cashman who was quiet through the first three quarters. She absolutely took over the first three and a half minutes of the fourth quarter scoring the three goals in succession unassisted. The 9-6 lead that Cortland was able to build at the beginning of the fourth quarter proved too tall a mountain for Brockport to be able to climb as the four goal Cortland run was really the only major run we saw in this contest due to how back and forth it was throughout the first three quarters. Burnash was able to get one back with 9:03 left on the clock which seemed like it may have been able to give the Golden Eagles the momentum needed to fight back and tie it back up, but it was not the case after an Amy Hoeffner goal with 6:27 remaining. That goal was really the final nail in the Brockport coffin as the goal scoring would run dry for both teams until a late Paige Thowe goal with just 34 seconds remaining. The elite Cortland defense which the team prides itself on was able to hold strong and protect the solid lead their offense was able to generate. This game was a total coin flip until that final quarter where the 2-way midfielders for Brockport just didn’t have as much energy and pace as the attacking and defending midfield groups of Cortland.
Overall Brockport should hold their heads high because of how tough they played #15 ranked Cortland. The leading goal scorers in this game were: Toni Cashman (CORT), Amy Hoeffner (CORT), and Alayna Foos (BPORT) who all had hat tricks in this closely matched SUNYAC battle.