Bears rally past Utica on Kunz last second goal, 7-6
Junior captain Rob Kunz scored the game-winning goal with 25 seconds left as the SUNY Potsdam men's lacrosse team (3-1) rallied late to defeat Utica College (3-2) 7-6 on the road. Six different Bears scored in the victory.
Junior captain Robbie Ashlaw got Potsdam on the board first at the 10:34 mark. Utica's Joe Schoen evened the contest just over a minute later. The Bears upped the pressure after the goal and junior attackman Kevin Logan put Potsdam back in front at 6:31. The Bears continued to control the play in the opening quarter, outshooting the Pioneers 9-4, but led by just one after 15 minutes.
After peppering the Utica defense 9-1 in shots over the first half of the second quarter, senior attackman Kyle Nicholas made it 3-1 at 7:44 on an assist from junior midfielder Derek Frost with a man-up tally. Trent Jacobs got the Pioneers back within one with a man-up score of his own two minutes later. Utica held the edge in momentum as the half came to a close, but the Bears held on to the 3-2 advantage.
The Pioneers withstood early pressure from Potsdam in the third quarter and grabbed a 4-3 lead with two quick goals. Sean Flanagan scored at 11:23 and Ben Winkler gave Utica its first lead of the day at 10:08. Justin Edelstein added another Pioneers' man-up goal at 1:57. The Bears were shutout in the third quarter.
Nearly five minutes into the final quarter, Frost got Potsdam back to within 5-4 with a man-up goal on an assist from Nicholas. Logan evened the score with another man-up marker with 5:28 left, but Winkler put Utica back in front 30 seconds later, capitalizing on an extra-man opportunity. With time ticking down, freshman attackman Ed Doherty buried a feed from Kunz to knot the score at six-all with 4:12 remaining. With Bears in possession of the ball with 45 seconds left, the teams traded timeouts. Twenty seconds later, Kunz beat Pioneer goalie Trey Adams for the decisive score.
Senior goalie Stefan Sloma continued his strong play between the pipes with six saves to earn his third victory of the season and fourth of his career. Adams was impressive in a losing cause, stopping 15 Potsdam attempts.
The Bears outshot Utica 43-25, but the Pioneers finished with a 29-23 edge in ground balls. Potsdam was 2-9 on extra-man opportunities and Utica went 3-5. The Bears have now won three straight meetings with the Pioneers.
Potsdam is back in action on Tuesday, when the Bears travel to Union, N.J. to face Kean University at 6 p.m.