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Season in Review: IC Club Lacrosse
It was another solid season for the Bombers club lacrosse team as they finished the year with a record of five and two, and earned the right to compete in the NCLL Regional Semi-Finals.
Despite losing to three tough opponents in the pre-season Binghamton, Cornell, and Syracuse: IC was able to be at their best when it mattered most. After losing to Binghamton earlier in the year, the Bombers were able to defeat the Bearcats in the regular season and thus earned the top seed in the Empire East division.
Overall it has been an up and down year for Ithaca. The season began with a snowy start as the Bombers travelled to Albany to take on SUNY Albany and Oneonta. IC took care of Oneonta easily in the first game but knew that the true test would be when they faced Albany. In a true gut wrenching victory the Bombers were able to defeat SUNY Albany in sudden death overtime. Senior Ryan Mullins scored the tying goal to force overtime with just ten seconds left in the fourth quarter, and then ended the game just two minutes into overtime. Kicking off their season with two wins was a huge step in the right direction, and the win against Albany remains the best win of the year for IC.
Riding high after the overtime victory over Albany, Ithaca went on the road once again to face rival Cortland. IC hasn’t beaten Cortland in three years and despite an amazing effort from junior attack man Barry Donela who scored three goals and assisted on another in the loss, IC fell short by just a goal to the Red Dragons. It was a crushing defeat for the Bombers but one that made them realize that they needed to perform at 100% every game in order to get the win.
After defeating Le Moyne and a loss to cross-town rival Cornell, it came down to the last weekend for the Bombers. IC had a double header with two division opponents, Clarkson and Binghamton. In order to qualify for nationals for the fourth straight year IC needed a victory against both teams, and that is just what they got. The first game against Clarkson wasn’t much of a contest. The attack trio of Barry Donela, Ryan Mullins, and Alec Simoncelli each netted a pair of goals and the Bombers easily defeated Clarkson by a score of seven to three. Then it was on to Binghamton with the right to host the regional semi-final on the line. IC got off to a great start going up early by a score of nine to three. Despite a fourth quarter effort by the Bearcats to get back in the game, the Bombers were able to hold off Binghamton and win the Empire East.
This Sunday Ithaca will attempt to write their ticket to the Elite 8 when Binghamton, Buffalo State, and Niagara come to town for a four-team mini-tournament. The winner of the tournament will earn a trip to Annapolis, Maryland for the NCLL Elite 8. If the Bombers win on Sunday, it will make it the sixth straight season they will have qualified for nationals.