Pilgrims Shock Golden Bears in TCCC Semifinals

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. Senior attacker Matt Vozzolo (Somers, CT) scored the game-winner with .03 seconds left and senior goalie Nick Fischer (South Burlington, VT) compiled 20 saves as the sixth-seeded New England College men's lacrosse team shocked second-seeded Western New England College 11-10 in a semifinal round contest of The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) Wednesday afternoon (May 5).

The Pilgrims (10-8) will visit top-seeded Endicott (a 10-6 winner over fourth-seeded Roger Williams) in the conference championship final on Saturday (May 8).

Junior attacker Damian Carey (Medford, NY) had four goals and an assist for the Pilgrims who outscored the Golden Bears 5-2 in the final period.

There were six ties in the game, including four in the opening half as WNEC held a 6-5 edge at the break. The Golden Bears tallied twice to start the third quarter, taking their biggest lead at 8-5 following a goal by junior midfielder Colin Houlihan (Yorktown Heights, NY) at the 6:26 mark.

The visitors cut the margin to cut two after three periods when Damian Carey scored with 5:36 left in the period with an assist from junior attacker Matt Carey (Medford, NY). Damian scored again with an assist from Matt just 31 seconds into the fourth stanza and the Pilgrims tied the game on a shot from junior midfielder Ryan Von Uffel (Cold Spring Harbor, NY) with 10:38 remaining.

New England College took its first lead of the game at 9-8 when Matt Carey scored with an assist from Damian 3:06 later.

Western New England College came back and knotted the contest when senior attacker Tim Santye (Skillman, NJ) fired in a shot with 5:37 left. The Pilgrims answered with another goal by Damian Carey with 4:38 remaining before sophomore midfielder Patrick White (Milton, MA) tied the game for the final time with 2:13 left. White had a shot attempt that hit the top of the crossbar with 1:18 remaining.

The Golden Bears lost possession when sophomore defender Charlie Leonard (Pasadena, MD) forced a turnover with less than a minute to go.

Vozzolo took a shot that missed just wide right and out of bounds with 3.4 seconds left. When play resumed, junior midfielder John Gabriel (West Nyack, NY) whipped the ball to Vozzolo who netted the winning shot as time expired. However, after a brief discussion, the officials put .03 seconds on the board, and although the Golden Bears won the face-off, the game ended despite a desperation shot that went into the net after the final buzzer.

Fischer was outstanding making six saves in both the first and second quarters to keep the visitors in the game. Matt Carey finished with a goal and five assists while Von Uffel tallied twice. Vozzolo and junior midfielder John Gabriel (West Nyack, NY) each added a goal and assist.

For Western New England College, White and freshman midfielder Corey Johnson (Maybrook, NY) each scored three goals. Houlihan, sophomore midfielder Chris D'Angelo (Suffield, CT), and sophomore attacker Andrew Mariani (East Brunswick, NJ) both contributed a goal and assist. Sophomore goalie Brewster Knowlton (Somers, CT) stopped six shots. He and Vozzolo were teammates at Somers High School in Connecticut.

The Golden Bears finish their season with a 12-6 record, but could wind up receiving an invitational to the ECAC New England Division III Tournament.

2010-05-05



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