By John Boccacino/Sports Information Director
The 2013 Keuka College men's lacrosse team featured one of the most potent offenses in the country, and the Storm's depth and scoring balance were on display during Saturday's North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championship game.
Sophomore James Voigt (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) equaled his career high with five goals and two assists and junior Connor Latimer (Whitby, ON/Genesee Community College) and sophomore Anthony Luppino (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) each added three goals and an assist as No. 1 seeded Keuka (12-1) won its third straight NEAC title, beating No. 3 Hilbert College (10-5) 17-5 at the Jephson Community Athletic Complex.
Voigt earned Tournament MVP honors after his career performance as the Storm picked up their 18th straight win against NEAC foes and set a school record for wins with 12.
"Today we had good ball movement and I took advantage of my opportunities," said Voigt, who recorded seven points in a game for the third time in the last five games.
"These big situations, you have to play big and it helps having great threats all the way around the field because it creates mismatches. I took advantage of mine when I had them."
Sophomore Cory Gray (Seneca Castle, NY/Midlakes) added two goals and one assist and senior Mike Crumlish (Hilton, NY/Hilton) added one goal and two assists for Keuka, which went on a 12-1 run spanning the second, third and fourth quarters to seize control.
Junior Kenny Cannon (East Syracuse, NY/East Syracuse-Minoa) collected six groundballs, classmate Zach Koczent (Geneva, NY/Geneva) went 11-for-17 on faceoffs and scooped up eight groundballs while sophomore Eric Saltrelli (Webster, NY/Webster Schroeder) made 13 saves and had five groundballs in the win.
Latimer staked Keuka to a 1-0 lead with his goal 1:11 into the contest, and Voigt's goal 32 seconds later gave the Storm a 2-0 lead.
Hilbert scored the next two goals to tie the score, but Voigt fed Luppino for a goal with 5:14 remaining in the opening quarter that gave Keuka a 3-2 lead. Hilbert's Ryan Wagner knotted the score with 3:28 remaining, but then the Storm's defense clamped down.
Keuka held the Hawks scoreless for 15:08 while five different student-athletes scored to extend the lead to 8-3, capped by Latimer's unassisted tally with 4:55 remaining in the second.
Brendan Kane scored to pull the Hawks within 8-4, but Voigt fired a shot into the upper right corner of the goal with 2.5 seconds left in the second as the Storm took a 9-4 lead into halftime.
Keuka held Hilbert scoreless for the next 26 minutes and 20 seconds spanning the third and fourth quarters to pull away.
The Storm blanked Hilbert 3-0 in the third as Voigt scored a pair of man-up goals, then Gray added a man-up goal and freshman Brendan King (Auburn, NY/Auburn), Cannon and Luppino all scored to put Keuka ahead 16-4 with 9:50 remaining.
The Green and Gold went 7-for-11 with the man advantage while Hilbert was 0-for-3.
Junior Scott Miller (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan), the NEAC's Defensive Player of the Year, caused four turnovers as the Storm never allowed Hilbert to get into an offensive rhythm after the first quarter.
Latimer, the NEAC's Player of the Year who scored 44 goals with 41 assists (85 points), currently leads Division III in points per game (6.54). He credited Keuka's balanced scoring attack and the Storm's familiarity with playing on their grass field for bringing home the school's third straight NEAC championship.
"Our middies especially did a great job today of running and pushing the ball for us, they got some good looks and buried them, especially J.J. and Luppino," Latimer said.
"Their hard work paid off. Today was a lot of fun and I loved every second of it. We're used to playing on our grass here where no other teams are really used to playing on grass. It tires them out and helps us out and it's nice to have the home field advantage. It's always a good feeling getting a championship, it's great for Keuka and hopefully we can make it four straight by the time I'm done."