Furious Rally by Grizzlies Falls Short vs. Antelopes

PHOENIX- Adams State College's furious late rally came up two goals short as the Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University Antelopes held on for a 10-8 Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association win over the visiting Grizzlies, Monday night here in ideal weather conditions at the GCU Soccer Field.

The Grizzlies trailed 3-0 after the first quarter and 5-1 at the half but scored three of the third quarter goals to pull within 6-4. However, the 'Lopes then scored four straight goals over the first nine minutes of the final stanza to build a 10-4 lead, which proved to be enough despite the Grizzlies' goal scoring prowess, that saw the visitors tally four goals in as many minutes down the stretch.

The first-year Grizzlies dominated the game statistically, out-shooting the 'Lopes 49-23 overall while turning out a 31-13 edge in shots on goal. However, junior net-minder Andrew Hunter made an impressive 23 saves for the 'Lopes who improved to 2-5 overall and to 2-1 in WILA play.

The Grizzlies, now 0-4 in NCAA Division II games and 0-3 in WILA action, also dominated possession as freshman midfielder Anthony Willner (Littleton, Colo.) won 15 of 21 total face-offs in what was by far his best possession gaining effort of the season. However, the Grizzlies committed 29 turnovers and took most of their shots from outside, a fact that Hunter took advantage of while dominating the game.

Freshman attack Chris Cunningham (Littleton, Colo.) led the Grizzlies scoring three goals on nine shots raising his season goal scoring total to a team-best seven. The Grizzlies also had six other goal scorers including freshman Chanson Miller (American Fork, Utah), who took a game-high 12 shots, eight of which were on goal.

Mac Piper (Salt Lake City, Utah) also added two assists aiding both Peter Santamaria (Orem, Utah) and Anthony Damico (Littleton, Colo.) on goals in the final 64 seconds of the contest.

Jacob Hippensteel and Josh Drummond each had 4-point games for the Lopes and combined for seven of the home team's tallies.

The 'Lopes controlled the game early on and scored each of the game's first goals before the Grizzlies got on the board just 1:06 into the second quarter thanks to Miller's sixth goal of the season, which Cunningham assisted on.

However, Hippensteel, who had made the score 2-0 in the first, scored the next two goals putting the 'Lopes up 5-1 with his hat-tricking clinching goal just before the break.

The Grizzlies then came roaring back as Cunningham recorded all three of his goals in the third quarter, which saw the Grizzlies pull within 5-3 and 6-4 with 4:36 left in the period.

The teams then played more than seven minutes without scoring before Drummond and Hippensteel combined for three goals in 2:27 helping the 'Lopes eventually build a 10-4 lead with 6:05 to go.

The Grizzlies then came back as Johnny Neal (Greenwood Village, Colo.), Michael Santamaria (Orem, Utah), Peter Santamaria and Damico all recorded goals down the stretch.

The Grizzlies outshot the 'Lopes 30-7 in the second half and finished the game with a 30-23 edge in groundballs, including a 19-12 edge in the second half.

The Grizzlies also used ferocious and varied defensive pressure to bother the 'Lopes, who were able to record only 14 clears on 28 attempts. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies successfully cleared the defensive zone on 10 of 17 attempts.

The Grizzlies will now have nearly two weeks off before returning to the field for their final true WILA road game against fellow first-year program Mesa State on Mar. 26 in Grand Junction, Colo.


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