MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. – Cortland outscored Gettysburg 4-0 in the third quarter to break open a tight contest and the nationally fourth-ranked Red Dragons defeated the 16th-ranked Bullets, 9-3, in the third annual North-South Oyster Bay Challenge. Cortland has now won two of the three meetings between the teams in the games played at John J. Burns Park over the past three years.
The Red Dragons remain unbeaten at 4-0 with the victory. Gettysburg drops to 3-3, with all three of its losses coming to teams currently ranked in the top 11 nationally.
Cortland senior midfielder Chris DeLuca and Gettysburg sophomore goalie J.T. McCook were named the game’s Most Valuable Players. DeLuca scored two goals and won 8-of-9 faceoffs for the Red Dragons, while McCook recorded 12 saves for the Bullets.
Senior Jay DiStefano finished with two goals and an assist to lead a balanced Cortland scoring attack. DeLuca and freshman midfielder Joe Slavik scored two goals each, senior midfielder Pat Hayes finished with one goal and one assist, and freshman defender Brian Winterfeldt and senior midfielder Neal Hopps scored once apiece. Sophomore Mike Kaminski recorded four saves.
Junior attack Pat Sartory led Gettysburg with two goals and one assist and junior attack Tyler Feeley (Phoenix, MD/St. Paul’s School) scored once.
Cortland outshot Gettysburg 7-0 in the first period, but led only 1-0 on a goal by DeLuca, set up by junior Zack Mulvaney (Deferiet/Carthage), 1:54 into the contest. DiStefano’s goal seven seconds into the second period, assisted by senior Eric Parah gave the Red Dragons a 2-0 lead, but Feeley scored a man-up goal off a Sartory assist with 12:27 left in the half to bring Gettysburg within 2-1.
That score held until 2:04 into the third quarter when Slavik’s man-up goal off a Greg Wright pass gave Cortland a 3-1 lead. Hopps tallied 51 seconds later, and DeLuca’s goal at the 8:14 mark pushed the lead to 5-1. Hayes found the net with 4:56 left in the third and Cortland led 6-1 entering the fourth quarter.
The Bullets struck first in the fourth on a Sartory goal with 12:40 remaining, but Slavik scored 1:08 later and Hayes set up a Winterfeldt goal with 10:53 left to give Cortland an 8-2 lead. Sartory scored Gettysburg’s last goal with 8:53 left, and Cortland concluded the scoring on a DiStefano goal with 54 seconds left.
Cortland finished with a 37-13 advantage in shots and a 34-27 edge in ground balls. The Red Dragons won 13-of-16 faceoffs. In addition to DeLuca’s eight faceoff wins in nine tries, senior Justin Battino won five faceoffs in seven attempts.