Season-Ending Plays Not Defining Ones for Cortland's Kaminski, Consul
If you're a fan of Division III lacrosse, you've probably seen the video of the ending to the RIT-Cortland game on Sunday. With the two teams battling in overtime, RIT ran a quasi-hidden ball trick near the top of the box between Taylor Wisman and Allister Warren that caught Cortland goalie Mike Kaminski off guard and resulted in Warren burying a 14-yard shot to give the Tigers a 10-9 victory and a trip to Philadelphia.
It was a brash gamble to be running in overtime, but it paid off. It's tough, however, not to feel for Kaminski, who had his superb collegiate career ended on the play. While it's a sequence that he'll undoubtedly replay in his mind for some time, it's silly to think that it somehow lessens what Kaminski achieved in his four years at Cortland.
Kaminski played in 75 games, posting a record of 60-7, including the last two seasons in when he was 39-2 and guided the Red Dragons to the 2012 national championship game. These are not the credentials of a player who has his career defined by one goofy goal.
"They ran a flip play and it caught Mike off guard, but we're talking about a guy who has won us a lot of games in his four years here," said Cortland head coach Steve Beville. "A big reason we were playing for a national championship last year was because of him, as well as getting to the semifinals again this year. Give credit to RIT for pulling it off, but it doesn't change what Mike has accomplished in his career."
The game-winning goal wasn't the only freakish occurrence during that game for Cortland. Earlier in overtime, Cortland was seemingly in line to retain possession after a shot caromed off the helmet of an RIT player and over the sideline. Cody Consul, an All-American attackman who has been a rock for the Dragons, chased it down to maintain possession. Alas, he stepped out of bounds before the ball rolled over the line, resulting in the ball being awarded to RIT for their finale.
It was a one-in-a-million type of play — not unlike Warren's goal — but as any coach will tell you, those are the small events that can determine a game. And like Kaminski, Consul's gaffe isn't what should be remembered about the player, his season or his career to date.
"He's a great kid and a great player, but those things happen," said Beville of Consul. "He's one of those players, like [Kaminski], who has delivered for us so many times. It was a play I know he'd like to have back, and I'm sure it will be motivating him this summer."
We live in a "SportsCenter Top 10" age, when outstanding and quirky videos are put online within hours after they happen for all to ogle. Sometimes that can leave a lasting image about a player that isn't representative of what he has done up until that point. That is certainly the case with Cortland's finish against RIT.
"The ending of the game was crazy for sure, but we still had four to five really good opportunities to win the game before those plays took place," Beville said. "RIT found a way to get it done and hats off to them."