No. 20 Cardinals top Bears, 15-9

04.24.13

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam men's lacrosse team (6-6, 2-3 SUNYAC) started quickly, but succumbed to 20th-ranked Plattsburgh State (12-3, 4-1) 15-9 on the road on Wednesday night. Junior midfielder Jared Flath had two goals and two assists for the Bears and senior attackman Kyle Nicholas added two goals. Tim Lawrence had a game-high five points for the Cardinals on three goals and two assists. Nick Travers also contributed three goals for Plattsburgh.

Senior midfielder Pat Morrill and freshman attackman Pat Bonafede each scored in the opening 6:24 to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. Brendan Damm and Brett McClelland answered for the Cards to even the game after one quarter of play.

Junior midfielder Jeff Seager buried a feed from junior captain Rob Kunz to put Potsdam back in front at 12:10 of the second period. Lawrence made it a 3-3 contest with a man-up goal just 1:06 later. Kunz gave the Bears their final lead of the contest at the 10:52 mark with a helper from Flath. The Cardinals responded with a 5-0 run to take control of the game. The first three goals came as the first half wound down and Plattsburgh took a 6-4 advantage into the break.

Joey Kramer and Lawrence notched the first two tallies of the third quarter to build an 8-4 lead at 9:26. Freshman attackman Matt Kennedy slowed the momentum with a Bears goal 21 seconds later, but the Cardinals scored the next two to make it 10-5. Flath and Nicholas scored in the final two minutes of the quarter and Potsdam trailed by just three with 15 minutes to play.

Plattsburgh put the game out of reach with four straight to open the final stanza and make it a 14-7 contest. Flath and Nicholas sandwiched two goals around a final Lawrence tally to close the scoring at 15-9.

In goal, senior captain Stefan Sloma stopped 16 shots and allowed 13 goals in the opening 52:56 for Potsdam. Junior goalie Ryan Duffy made two saves and allowed two goals in the final 7:04. Gordie Gehring went the distance and finished with 12 saves to earn the victory for Plattsburgh.

The Cardinals outshot the Bears 46-35 and collected the 33 ground balls to Potsdam's 20. The Bears nearly matched Plattsburgh on faceoffs, winning 13 of 27.

Potsdam can still reach the playoffs in several ways. The Bears can get in with a victory at No. 1 Cortland on Saturday. They can also get in with a Plattsburgh win over Geneseo and a Brockport win over Oneonta. Should there end up a five-way tie between the Bears, Geneseo, Oswego, Brockport and Oneonta for third place, the teams would face a tie-breaking scenario involving records against each other and possibly goal differential.

Potsdam travels to face the top-ranked and undefeated Red Dragons at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.