With a strong effort against national powerhouse SUNY Cortland, the Clarkson University Lacrosse team came close to knocking off a Top 10 program for the second time in less than a month. The Golden Knights, however, came up just short, falling to the sixth-ranked Red Dragons 11-9 at Hantz Turf Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Clarkson played Cortland (11-1) tough for the entire 60 minutes, but the Red Dragons scored four of the last six goals to escape with a narrow win on the road. After battling to a 3-3 tie in the first quarter the Knights took a 6-5 lead into halftime. The Red Dragons pulled ahead 8-7 after three quarters and outscored the Green and Gold 3-2 over the final 15 minutes to gain the two-goal victory in the Knights' final non-conference game of the season.
Senior Kyle Brown led all scorers with a game-high four goals.
Clarkson outshot Cortland 41-34 and held the edge in ground balls, 24-22.
Senior Ryan St. Croix scored two the Knights' first two goals, including the opening tally just 1:30 into the game for his 100th career goal. Brown scored the first of his four goals with 14 seconds left in the first for the 3-3 tie after 15 minutes. The Knights got goals from senior Ryan DaRin, his team-high 32nd of the year, Brown and freshman Conor Bartlett in the second quarter to hold a one-goal lead after two quarters.
Cortland outscored Clarkson 3-1 in the third quarter with St. Croix connecting for his third goal of the day for the Knights' lone tally of the period.
The Red Dragons opened the final quarter with a pair of goals to take a 10-7 lead with 9:44 left to play. Brown scored twice over the final five minutes, but it was not enough.
Devin Phelps and Nate Beresovoy led Cortland with three goals apiece.
Senior Nick Strandholm made 11 saves for the Knights, including six in the third quarter.
Freshman Ryan Gabriel was strong at the X for the Green and Gold, winning 11 face offs and picking up a game-high five ground balls.
At 7-5 overall, Clarkson returns to Liberty league play on Saturday, hosting Skidmore at 12 noon in the final home game of the season. The Knights, who stand at 2-3 in the conference still have a shot for postseason play. Clarkson closes out the regular season at rival Rensselaer on Saturday, April 29.