Utica Loses OT Heartbreaker to Vassar

Utica, N.Y. (3/19/2011) Utica lost a 5-4 overtime decision against visiting Vassar on the turf at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers rallied late, scoring two goals in the final 3:41 of regulation, to send the contest into extra time. Vassar's Jeff Lee scored the game-winner, unassisted, from ten yards out to lift the Brewers (2-2) to their second win of the season.

Utica (1-3) outshot the visitors 31-25 and earned a 24-16 ground ball advantage, but the Pioneers had

trouble finding the back of the net for the second straight game as they were held scoreless in the first and third quarters.

Vassar jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first quarter behind goals from Lee and team leading-scorer Max Herman. Sam Seymour assisted on Herman's eighth goal of the season.

The Pioneers responded by dominating play in the second quarter. Junior Zachary Menapace netted his first goal of the year and sophomore Ben Winkler found the back of the net on a breakaway to knot the score at 2-2 with 38 seconds to go in the first half of play. Freshman Chris Gibbs was credited with his first collegiate assist on the game-tying goal.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Brewers broke the silence with a man-down goal at the 12:16 mark of the fourth. Christopher Toffoli netted his first goal of the season, off an assist from Seymour, to give Vassar a 3-2 lead with 12:16 left in regulation. The goal came while Vassar's Jeremy Gottlieb was spending four straight minutes in the penalty box.

Toffoli added his second consecutive goal with 5:03 left in the fourth to give the visitors a 4-2 lead. UC was able to respond at the 3:41 marker when freshman TJ Benson netted his fourth goal of the season to cut the Vassar lead to 4-3. Junior Oliver Barney, who assisted Benson's goal, tied the game up with his fifth goal of the year with 2:47 left in regulation time. Sophomore Justin Edelstein assisted on Barney's goal, which sent the contest into overtime.

UC earned the first possession of the overtime period, but could not convert, and Vassar's Jeff Lee scored from 10 yards out on the next trip down the field to give the Brewers the victory.

Utica junior goalie Wilson Mukredecian stopped eight shots in net for Utica, while Alex Tice and Andrew Nicol combined for 14 saves in between the pipes for the Brewers.

Barney went 8 for 12 on face-off opportunities, while junior captain Mick Krajacic caused a game-high six turnovers and scooped up six ground balls. Senior Matthew Crouse added six ground balls and caused three turnovers for UC.

The Pioneers return to action on Wednesday when they host local rival Hamilton College in the inaugural "Contineer Cup" matchup at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium. Both teams will dawn pink t-shirts during warm-ups and all proceeds from the contest will benefit breast cancer awareness. Face-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.

2011-03-19



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