The Tompkins Cortland Community College lacrosse team used a big second half to push its season-best winning streak to four games with Saturday's 13-8 win at Herkimer College. The Panthers are now 7-2 overall and 6-2 in Region III while Herkimer drops to 4-4 both overall and in regional play.
Anthony Irizarry (Middletown/Middletown H.S.) had another big game for the Panthers, starting in the opening minute of play when he scored the game's first goal. Jack Collmer (Vernon/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) made it 2-0 two minutes later, but Herkimer rallied to erase the lead and take a 4-3 lead at the end of the first. Irizarry again opened the scoring in the second quarter with a goal in the first minute to tie the game and Erik Dickerson (Pine Bush/John S. Burke Catholic H.S.) made it 5-4 with his first goal of the game with 8:50 left in the second. After Herkimer again responded, scoring three straight to move ahead 7-5, Irizarry scored twice in the final three minutes of the half to send it the break knotted at 7-7.
For the third straight quarter, the Panthers got on the board in the opening minute of action. This time Padraic Iannello (Dryden/Dryden H.S.) found the net to make it 8-7. With 5:12 left in the quarter, Irizarry scored to put the Panthers up 9-7 and when Herkimer scored with 1:39 left in the third, Dickerson answered just 46 seconds later to push the lead back to two goals at 10-8.
The final quarter was all Panthers, with Panthers controlling possession and getting goals from Matthew Bisono (Deer Park/Deer Park H.S.), Irizarry, and Iannello to seal the win for Tompkins Cortland.
Irizarry scored 11 points on 7 goals and 4 assists, inching himself closer to the Tompkins Cortland season record in all three categories. Iannello had three points on two goals and an assist and Dickerson had two points on a pair of goals. Collmer and Bisono each had a single goal and Derek Sammartino (Saddle Brook, N.J./Pascack Hills H.S.) had one assist.
The defense of Nick Smith (Cortland/Cortland H.S.), Bridger Carreau (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter), and Jonathon Phillips (Cortland/Cortland H.S.) was dominant at times, particularly i nthe second half. Bryan Iannello (Cortland (Dryden/Dryden H.S.) had 24 saves to pick up the win in goal, moving into sole possession of second place on the school's single season wins list in the process.
Next up for Tompkins Cortland is a home game Monday at 4 p.m. against Mercyhurst North East.