The No. 4 Genesee Community College men's lacrosse team turned their game up a notch in the second half to beat No. 3 Howard Community College with a double-digit 16-6 victory April 8. The win almost assures that the Cougars will move up in the national rankings after several weeks at No. 4.
Genesee got off to a quick start and never looked back. Jason Chiodo, Alex Mack and Evan Hollfelder put Genesee ahead 3-0 in the first quarter, respectively, and the Dragons were never able to catch up. Howard got its first in the final three minutes of the opening quarter to make it a 3-1 game after the initial 15 minutes.
The Dragons played their best quarter in the second and although they matched Genesee with three second-quarter goals, the closest they would come then was at 4-3 after nearly four minutes into the second, but Chiodo and Mack responded with a pair of goals in a minute span late in the second quarter to restore Genesee's three-goal lead.
Howard closed the gap to single goal to start the second half at 6-5, but that was as close as they would come as Genesee scored 10 of the game's remaining 11 goals for the win.
In the faceoff battle, Andrew Forte out-battled Howard's top faceoff man – T.J. Atrill – and came away with 17 wins on 24 attempts that ultimately led to a 35-23 shooting advantage for Genesee. The Cougars also won the groundball game 32-8.
Chiodo led the team in goals with five that included the game winner while also leading the team in points with seven. His nine shots were also tops for the team and co-led with shots on net with Mack with six apiece.
Hollfelder once again led the team in assists with five and also added a goal. Mack finished the game with four goals, while Jordan Brennan and Kevin McParlene added a pair of goals each. Patrick Bilbrey and Forte had single tallies.
After Hollfelder's five helpers, Brennan and Chiodo each had a pair with a single assist from McParlene. In all, five Cougars registered multi-point performances. After Chiodo's seven points, Hollfelder finished with six, Brennan and Mack each had four while McParlene finished with three.
Garrett Lazore recorded six saves in the win and the Cougars also went 3-for-8 in man-up opportunities.
Although Howard entered the game ranked at No. 3 that ranking could have been higher had they held on to a fourth-quarter lead over current No. 2 Nassau in their season-opening 9-8 loss. It took No. 2 Nassau the entire game to net nine goals on the Dragons, while the Cougars needed just a half to rack up 10 goals against the current No. 3 team.
The Cougars' next three games are on the road starting with a regional matchup against Broome Community College April 11 at 4 p.m.