Hudson Valley Lacrosse to Face Alfred State In Region III Tournament

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday April 26, 2004

Vikings earn first tournament bid since 1999

The Hudson Valley Community College lacrosse team won its final seven games of the season, and needed every one of those victories to assure itself of a bid in the NJCAA Region III Tournament for the first time since 1999.

The Vikings, who lost two of their first three games this year, are 8-2 and will play at Alfred State College (10-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27 in the opening round of the tournament. Hudson Valley is the fifth seed and Alfred State, last year's regional runner-up, is seeded fourth. The winner of the game will meet top seed Herkimer Community College (12-1) at noon on Saturday, May 1 in Herkimer.

"We set a goal for ourselves and achieved it," Hudson Valley Head Coach John Meehan said. "Even after our 1-2 start, we constantly believed that we could make the tournament."

Hudson Valley entered the year with four players returning from the 2003 team that went 6-4.

Sophomore Eric DeSalvatore (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa High School) leads the team with 56 points. He has 37 goals and 19 assists. Sophomore Joe Whaley (Schenectady/Schenectady High School) has 29 goals and 21 assists, and sophomore Willy Munoz (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa High School) has 23 goals and 16 assists. Sophomore Andrew Dushensky (Colonie/Colonie High School) has proven himself to be on of the regions top defenders. He also has three goals and five assists.

"Our four returning players – DeSalvatore, Munoz, Dushensky and Whaley – made it a point to build on what we achieved a year ago. They have played great for us all season," Meehan said.

Freshman goalie Joe Coppola (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa High School) has been strong in net for the Vikings all season. However, over the last three games, Coppola has been especially tough. He is only allowing seven goals per contest during the three-game stretch.

"We can be successful on Tuesday," Meehan said. "Face-offs are the key. We need to win more than Alfred does."

NJCAA Region III Tournament

Tuesday, April 27
#5 Hudson Valley (8-2) at #4 Alfred State (10-2)
#6 Cayuga (6-7) at #3 Monroe (11-3)

Saturday, May 1 (at Herkimer)
Hudson Valley/Alfred State winner at #1 Herkimer (12-1)
Cayuga/Monroe winner vs. #2 Onondaga (11-2)

Sunday, May 2 (at Herkimer)
Semifinal winners