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Golden Eagles can't take flight against Fisher

By: Chamberlain Bauder

VICTOR, N.Y. --- The Brockport men's lacrosse team traveled to the Pinnacle Athletic Complex to open their season against the St. John Fisher Cardinals. The Golden Eagles had a daunting task taking on the NCAA tournament team and it played out how one would expect, Fisher won 21-9.

Brockport during a timeout (Photo credit/Chamberlain Bauder)

Fisher took advantage of the face-off matchup and a newly implemented man defense by Brockport. Drew DiPalma had three face-off wins at halftime. Despite churning out ten more wins in the second half Fisher had already built too much of a lead and maintained too much possession. As for the defense, Fisher took advantage of late slides by the Brockport defense all day. Half of Fisher's goals came from a quick set of two passes that would end in a wide open stick for an easy shot.

Despite that Brockport never stopped fighting, they notched two fast break goals in the first half alone for the first time in two years.

The Golden Eagles were led in scoring by two attackmen for the first time in the Colin Cornaire era. Nick Askin scored four goals in his debut and led the game with eight shots on goal. It was his first full game in two years.

"First quarter was getting all the nerves and the rust out," Askin said. "It was just fun playing lacrosse, there's nothing better than this."

Freshman Mark Zappula was the feeder Brockport needed with four assists. Pat Erway led the defense with four ground balls and Jack Acker notched 14 saves and a .400 save percentage in the loss.

Jack Acker composing himself pregame (Photo credit/Chamberlain Bauder)

Fisher senior Logan Grom dominated the face-offs in the early goings and it led to a lot of Cardinals possession. The Golden Eagles defense proved more physical than last season after changing to a man from a zone scheme. Fisher took advantage of late slides and miscommunications with three of their four first quarter goals being assisted.

Brockport was able to score twice in the first quarter. The first came in the early goings on one of Brockport's first offensive possessions. Zappula found Garrett Smith on the crease and he beat two defenders with a quick stick goal to put Brockport on the board. Not long after that Nate Askin went down with an injury in an early defensive set and did not play for the rest of the game.

Garrett Smith, Nate Askin and Tim Hubbard warming up pregame (Photo credit/Chamberlain Bauder)

Brockport's second goal came in transition in the final minute of the quarter. Tim Hubbard flew across the midfield line with a ground ball and sent a pass to Zappula behind the goal. He found his freshman line mate Logan Postel.

"I was very impressed with Logan getting his first collegiate goal and Mark Zapp four points in assists, nothing prettier than that, see two freshmen in their first game ball out." Askin said about his attack line mates.

Brockport scored two goals in the second quarter, both by Nick Askin. His second was a perfect skip pass by Zappula all the way to a wide open Askin on the crease.

"What a beautiful pass by Mark, I did not expect that to get through," Askin said. "So I caught it and I said 'well I've gone top right two times and missed, he saved it, so I knew I had to put this bad boy left and it went in and it was 'Oh yeah I'm back' cuz that was the first left handed goal of the year."

The possession still remained in favor of Fisher throughout the second and throughout the game. They outscored Brockport 6-2 in the second quarter, two of the goals came from freshman Sean Donaldson. On the run, he put a screamer into the bottom left corner twice in a row.

St. John Fisher's defense during a timeout (photo credit/Chamberlain Bauder)

DiPalma fought his way back in the third at the face-off dot. He went six for nine in the third quarter and gave Brockport their only run of the game in the final 1:10. Zapulla tallied his fourth assist finding Jackson Worden five yards from the crease with one man on him. Worden stepped away from his defender and ripped a shot behind his back, it snuck in between the goalie and the post. From there DiPalma won three face-offs in a row and led to another Askin goal as well as a goal of his own.

Brockport clawed back and showed life at 14-8 opening the fourth quarter. Crazier things have happened on a lacrosse field than a six goal comeback but it wasn't meant to be for the Golden Eagles. St John Fisher left no doubt as they shut Brockport out for the first 11 minutes of the final frame and bagged five more goals on their way there.

Fisher added two more in the final minutes and sent Brockport home with an 0-1 record. The Golden Eagle will next take the field at home against Clarkson on February 28.

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