Grizzlies Falter in Q4 Against First-Place Argos

ALAMOSA, Colo.- After scoring three straight goals to pull within a single tally early in the fourth quarter, Adams State watched first-place Notre Dame de Namur score six fourth quarter goals, three of which came on man-up opportunities, as the visitors went on to thwart the Grizzlies' upset bid and home finale, claiming a 12-7 win and at least a share of the first-ever WILA title on Friday afternoon at the ASC Lacrosse & Soccer Field.

The Argos, who improved to 6-7 overall and to a perfect 6-0 in WILA play, received four goals from senior attack Greg Bearson and three more from sophomore attack Kevin Nguyen, who both have 20 goals on the season. They can now win the WILA outright with either a win at Mesa State, currently 4-6 overall and 3-6 in league play on Sunday afternoon or a Dominican (Calif.) loss at Grand Canyon (Ariz.) on Saturday afternoon in Phoenix. If neither of those things happens, Dominican can claim the other half of the WILA title with a win over their San Francisco Bay area rivals on Apr. 30.

On Friday, the first-year Grizzlies had six different goal scorers and received a pair of tallies from sophomore attack Kevin Bertrand (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) but slipped to 1-8 overall and to 1-6 in WILA play.

The Argos, who had posted a big 21-5 win over the Grizzlies back on Feb. 26 at home in Belmont, Calif., jumped out to a 2-0 lead as Giovanni Midili scored two goals in the game's first 10 minutes. However, the Grizzlies tightened up defensively and cut the cap to 2-1 with 1:42 to go in the opening period on Chanson Miller's (American Fork, Utah) unassisted tally, his ninth goal of the year.

However, the Argos responded and built their lead back to 5-1 as Bearson scored two goals before Nguyen won a faceoff while scoring his first goal of the game just nine seconds later at the 5:17 mark of the second quarter.

The Grizzlies then received an unassisted goal from Peter Santamaria (Orem, Utah) to cut the deficit to 5-2 at the intermission before Bearson's third goal made the score 6-2 just 1:44 into the second half.

However, Bertrand and the Grizzlies then took over, cutting the deficit to 6-4 in the third quarter before Anthony Willner (Littleton, Colo.) made it a 1-goal game with 12:20 to go in the fourth with his fourth goal of the season, just one second after a penalty to NDNU's Matt Fredericks expired.

The Grizzlies, who have technically not converted on a man-up try in four games, then immediately had a chance to tie the game as Nguyen was sent off for a 1-minute cross-check penalty, but were unable to get a shot off as the teams exchanged turnovers.

The Argos made the Grizzlies pay for that missed opportunity as Ryan Hulsey converted on an Adam Kingston (Lake Forest, Calif.) holding penalty starting what was a 4-0 Argo run over 4:41 of the fourth quarter, which saw the Grizzlies take three penalties, all of which were successfully converted by NDNU.

The teams then played an event 2-2 game over the final five minutes as Mac Piper (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Michael Santamaria (Orem, Utah) scored unassisted goals for the Grizzlies.

The Argos had much of the possession in the game as they won 16 of 23 faceoff, including 7 of 10 in the decisive fourth-quarter. They also had a 59-39 edge in total ground balls as Fredericks recorded 10 while Nguyen, who was 7 for 11 on faceoffs, won nine while recording five offensive points.

The Argos also had a 35-27 edge in total shots as Bearson, who also had five points, took a game-best nine. Bertrand led the Grizzlies in that category with seven while Jordan Stillwagon (Littleton, Colo.) led ASC with seven groundballs and three caused turnovers.

Meanwhile, Grizzly freshman Dakota Hunter (Denver, Colo.) tallied 11 saves while NDNU counterpart Hunter Adams recorded seven in the victory.

The Grizzlies will close out WILA play next Saturday when they face Mesa State at Invesco Field in Denver. That game, which can be heard live on KSPK-FM (104.1 in Alamosa) at via the internet at www.kspk.com, will begin at 4:00 p.m., following two Littleton Cup high school games.

2011-04-16



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