A nearly 25-minute scoreless stretch to end the game took the Tompkins Cortland lacrosse team from ahead by a pair of goals to a 13-8 loss to Jefferson Community College on Wednesday. The Panthers are now 1-2 overall and in Region III and 1-1 in the Mid-State Athletic Conference. Jefferson is 2-1 overall and 1-0 in both Region III and the MSAC.
The game was back and forth for the first half, with neither team leading by more than one goal. Dante Cuttino (Tully/Tully H.S.) put the Panthers on the board first, scoring just 39 seconds into play. The score was 4-4 after the first quarter and 6-6 at the half. The third quarter started with Jacob Lewis (Dryden/Dryden H.S.) putting the Panthers up 7-6 with 10:59 left in the quarter, and just over a minute later, Lewis intercepted a pass near midfield, leading to a two-on-one fast break that ended with Cuttino scoring off a pass from Lewis for the game's first two-goal lead. The 8-6 score held almost to the end of the quarter, but Jefferson scored with 10 seconds left to make it a one-goal game heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was where things seemed to snowball against the Panthers. Jefferson tied the score with 12:44 left and moved ahead with 10:52 left. Two goals over the next three minutes gave the Cannoneers a cushion while the Panthers were struggling to generate any offense. Tompkins Cortland managed just two shots over the final quarter before Jefferson tacked on two more goals in the final three minutes to put the game out of reach.
Cuttino led the Panthers with five goals, with Lewis scoring two goals and an assist. Pat Hartnett (Cortland/Cortland H.S.) handed out three assists and Tyler Ponticello (Homer/Homer H.S.) registered a goal while also winning 13 of 23 faceoffs. Goalie Ben Pallone (Cortland/Cortland H.S.) had another strong game, finishing with 21 saves.
The Panthers get a week off before playing at Hudson Valley Community College on Wednesday, March 27.