Coast Guard Rallies to Edge Stonehill

New London, Conn It was sweet revenge for the Coast Guard Academy men's lacrosse team on Wednesday night (April 14), pulling out a gutty 12-11 come from behind win after a rough start. Last season, the Bears lost to Stonehill College by the same score in a four overtime thriller so the team wanted this one.

Down 6-2 at the half, Coast Guard came out firing in the third quarter, rattling off 10 goals in the second half. A last-minute scheduling glitch moved the game from Easton, MA to Cadet Memorial Field and the Bears took advantage of the rowdy fan base that cheered them to victory - earning a 5-1 conference record and 1st round bye for the PCLL D2 Conference Tournament on May 1st at the University of New Hampshire.

Stonehill came out hot early and quickly built a 4-0 lead behind some strong goalkeeping from freshman Michael Phillips (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury). Coast Guard finally got on the board with a rip from Austin English (Kent Island, Md./Kent Island) after taking a great feed from Roger Nayden (Boise, Idaho/Bishop Kelly) to make it 4-1. Then junior midfielder Kyle Ennis (Annapolis, Md./Dematha) dodged from the top and fired a shot past the goalie to cut the lead to 4-2.

Stonehill answered quickly however, scoring on the next possession on a strange shot that bounced off two pipes and was called a goal. Stonehill opened the lead to 6-2 on its next possession, scoring on a shot from 12 yards out on the right wing just before the halftime whistle.

After a Stonehill possession to start the second half, Coast Guard earned a man-up possession moments later, and the Bears were able to capitalize as Ennis scored again on a great shot right out front to make it 6-3. Next trip down the field, junior attackman Matt Chase (Baltimore/Lochraven) dodged from the left GLE before faking low and going high to make it 6-4. Stonehill responded over five minutes later with two goals as Coast Guard failed to get settled defensively and then missed scooping a ball right in front of the crease.

Coast Guard earned the next quality possession and Chase took a dodge down the right wing and fired a bouncing shot cutting the lead to 8-5. Nayden kept up his solid, selfless play on Coast Guard's next possession, hitting sophomore midfielder Daniel Symanski (Vienna, Va./Madison) just outside the crease bringing the score to 8-6.

Moments later, Symanski won the ensuing face-off and returned the favor by setting up Nayden for another bounce shot into Stonehill's net - cutting the lead to 8-7. Stonehill won the next face-off and scored a nice transition goal to regain a two point lead. On the subsequent Coast Guard possession, Nayden dodged from behind the goal and fired a low shot from right out front to cut the lead to 9-8 as the quarter ended.

Coast Guard opened the fourth-quarter scoring on another dodge and fire from Ennis to tie it at nine. The Flyers dominated possession for the next two minutes, but sophomore goalie Cory Pray (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) answered the call with two big saves to help the Bears remain even. The crowd erupted after Chase scored off a great shot from right in front of the goal for the Bear's first lead of the evening.

Ennis struck again moments later for his fourth goal off a great swim move to give the Bears a two goal advantage. With momentum clearly on their side, the navy and orange ride produced a turnover in the Stonehill zone following Coast Guard's next possession, and senior Roger Nayden capitalized, scooping up a loose ball in front, sliding by two defenders and firing low for the three-goal lead with 2:10 left in the game.

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2010-04-17



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