Pioneers lose to Cards, take down Hawks

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Patrick Rivers, Assistant Sports Editor 

The Utica college men’s lacrosse team lost 11-8 at St. John Fisher College on Saturday. The Cardinals played huge in the second and third quarters and ultimately came out victorious.

UC was able to bounce back Wednesday, as they defeated Hartwick 11-10.

The Pioneers are nearing the end of an up and down season. They’ve had many opportunities to win games and fell short. There were also many positives and negatives up to this point in the year. On the positive side, they will have a lot to learn from over this offseason.

Freshman Dominic Castiglia continues to soar into stardom after yet another big game. He and Alex Finnegan each had two goals and one assist.

Finnegan leads the Pioneers with 36 total points on the year, a career-high for the senior attackman. The Pioneers will have big shoes to fill next year once he’s gone. Yet, many freshman and sophomores on the UC team have shown promise this season.

As for 2016, Castiglia has been one of the lone consistent bright spots for the Pioneers’ lacrosse program. He has been on a scoring rampage all season. Head coach Mike Parnell considers him a “standout-attackman” and very talented.

Castiglia scored six goals against Alfred and he’s scored five goals twice (Stevens, Houghton). In addition, he scored four goals against Keuka. Those are big accomplishments considering he’s just a freshman. With 33 goals so far on the year, he could move into the top ten in school history for best single-season scoring if he finishes strong.

Ryan Desveaux also scored two goals of his own. Matthew Miller scored the game’s first goal to give UC the early head start. He also added an assist before the first quarter ended.

At the end of one, the Pioneers led 5 to 1. Yet, in the ensuing second and third quarters, UC did not register a single goal. During that same span, Fisher scored 10 goals. The Cardinals took a 10-5 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, this is nothing new for the Pioneers, according to junior goalie Parker Smith.

“It’s been happening all year. I really don’t know why,” said Smith.

Nick Papayanakos scored five times to lead St. John Fisher, followed by Andrew Russo’s three goals. The Fisher defense must have figured something out on how to stop UC because 10 unanswered goals is not a recipe for success in any sport.

Following the 10 unanswered, the Pioneers posted 3 goals in the final quarter, one from Patrick Mulligan, Desveaux, and Castiglia. Yet that wasn’t enough as the Cardinals held on to win by three.

St. John Fisher improved to 7-7 on the year with the win and the Pioneers fell to 2-11. UC is currently on a four game losing streak for the second time this season. Although their record doesn’t look too good, they’ve fought hard all season.

Overall, the game against Fisher is one they would like to forget.

The Pioneers responded on Wednesday, defeating conference foe Hartwick 11-10 in thrilling fashion. It was their second conference win of the season, and UC will look to win its final game on Saturday against Elmira. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Gaetano Stadium.

Featured image; The Utica College men’s lacrosse team lost 11-8 against St. John Fisher on Saturday. The Pioneers will wrap up their season this Saturday, as they host Elmira at 1 p.m. Photo by ucpioneers.com.

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