Scranton Loses Another Heartbreaker, to Merchant Marine

SCRANTON, Pa.-The University of Scranton lost another heartbreaker in the closing seconds Saturday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field. This time, it was the Merchant Marine Academy pulling out a 7-6 victory in Landmark Conference action.

Senior attacker Brian Flannery (North Massapequa, N.Y./Plainedge) scored an unassisted goal with eight seconds remaining, which was reminiscent of the Royals' 6-5 loss to Drew University on March 26, when the Rangers scored the game-winning goal with 20 seconds left.

What makes this pill even harder to swallow is that Scranton had a chance to win the game moments earlier.

Fighting back from a 6-3 deficit midway through the third period, the Royals scored three straight goals-one each by sophomore midfielder Mike Rufo (Broomall, Pa./Haverford School), junior attacker Robert Pantages (Roseland, N.J./West Essex), and sophomore midfielder Colin McPoyle (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks South)-to set up the dramatic finish.

The Royals had possession of the ball in the closing seconds, but were called for stalling. The Mariners successfully cleared the ball from their own end after the Scranton turnover and Flannery came around from behind the net and made a diving shot attempt that got past Royal freshman goalie Ben Worthington (Jenkintown, Pa./Archbishop Wood). Worthington finished with nine saves, while his counterpoint, Mariner senior goalie Keegan Boyle (Wilbraham, Mas../Minnechaug) was credited with a game-high 12.

The defending champion Mariners jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead behind goals by junior attacker Zach Gray (Scituate, Mass./Boston College High School), sophomore midfielder Adam Jerlow (Parker, Colo./Douglas County), and sophomore attacker Sean Zakow (South Huntington, N.Y./Walt Whitman).

Each team scored twice in the second period to make it 5-2 at halftime before the Royals started creeping back into the game.

Pantages cut it to 5-3 with an unassisted goal with 12:07 left in the third period before freshman attacker Michael Ackerman (Malvern, Pa./Conestoga) followed with a goal off a play set up by Zakow to make it 6-3 three minutes later.

Pantages finished with two goals, freshman attacker Oliver Nugent (Short Hills, N.J./Morristown Beard) had a goal and an assist, junior attacker Sean Coleman (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) chipped in a goal, and junior midfielder Keenan Dowd (Binghamton, N.Y./Seton Catholic) contributed two assists for Scranton, now 3-7 overall and 1-2 in the conference.

The win improves the defending champion Mariners to 5-4 overall and 1-1 in the Landmark Conference.

Scranton will return to action this Wednesday, April 14, against cross-town neighbor Marywood University at Pacer Field beginning at 7:00 p.m.


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