Blue Knights hold off Bears 7-6, Kunz moves into 9th on program's scoring list
GENESEO, N.Y.—Fighting for its playoff life, SUNY Geneseo (5-8, 3-3 SUNYAC) held off the SUNY Potsdam men's lacrosse team (10-5, 4-2) for a 7-6 victory on Saturday afternoon. Bears senior captain Rob Kunz (Watertown, N.Y./Immaculate Heart) finished with a goal and an assist to give him 130 career points (68g, 62a), placing him ninth on the program's all-time scoring list.
Playing their second straight game on a soggy natural grass field, Potsdam's offense was slow to get started. Blue Knight Steve Aziz scored the first goal of the contest at the 8:58 mark of the first quarter. Three minutes later sophomore attackman Ed Doherty (Amherst, N.Y./Amherst) set up Kunz to tie the game. With 1:21 left in the opening quarter, Sam Thompson scored a man-up goal to put Geneseo up 2-1 and the score remained the same after 15 minutes.
Only two goals were scored in the second quarter, but both came from Bears sticks. Sophomore attackman Matt Kennedy (Clay, N.Y./Cicero-North Syracuse) evened the score at 9:03. Nearly seven minutes later, sophomore midfielder Pat Bonafede (Churchville, N.Y./Churchville-Chili) gave the Bears their first lead of the contest. Potsdam was outshot 20-13 at the break, but the story was the same. The Bears got smothering defense, took accurate shots and had excellent goaltending. Senior goalie Ryan Duffy (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) had nine saves after two quarters.
The Blue Knights battled back with a 4-0 run in the third quarter. Cory Gleasman set up Steve Cregan at 7:11 to tie the game and Cregan struck again at 5:37. Two and a half minutes later Joe Chiara extended Geneseo's lead to two goals. Brent Lawless gave the Blue Knights a 6-3 lead with an assist from Connor Fedge with 1:36 left in the period.
The Bears closed to within 6-4 with a man-up goal from freshman attackman Matt Moran (Watertown, N.Y./Immaculate Heart) on a helper from Doherty at 10:16. However, Chiara answered with his second just 1:14 later to reclaim the three-goal lead for Geneseo. Bonafede scored his second at the 5:23 mark and Potsdam was back within 7-5. The Blue Knights forced four Bears turnovers in the next four minutes and ran the clock down. With 24 seconds left, Kunz found Doherty to close the gap to 7-6, but Geneseo won the final faceoff and ran out the clock.
Duffy finished with 11 saves on the afternoon. Geneseo goalie Ryan Zaremba finished with just three stops despite earning the win.
The Blue Knights outshot Potsdam 31-25 and collected 38 ground balls to the Bears' 23. Potsdam won the faceoff battle 11-6 and both teams were 1-for-4 in man-up opportunities.
The second seeded Bears now return home to face third seeded Plattsburgh State in the SUNYAC Semifinals on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Potsdam downed the Cardinals 8-7 at Maxcy Turf Field on April 9.