Coast Guard Edges URI in Senior Night Nail-Biter

New London, CT Cadet 1/c Matt Chase (Baltimore, Md./Lochraven) capped off an emotional "Senior Night" by contributing the assist to Coast Guard's final goal as they battled their way to a 13-12 victory over the University of Rhode Island Rams on Friday evening.

The Bears (8-2, 6-1) were eager to avenge last year's heartbreaking loss to URI (6-6, 2-4) in their final home game, but would be without the services of 3/c attackman Austin English (PCLL D2 assist leader). Along with the final assist, Chase led all players with 4 goals and 3 assists on the night. The Bears were also helped by strong play from 1/c Kyle Ennis (Annapolis, Md./Dematha) who finished the game with 3 goals and 1 assist.

The first goal of the game came from Chase off a feed from Ennis less than a minute into the first quarter. URI responded quickly with a goal to tie the game 1-1.

However, Coast Guard kept up the pressure and soon led 2-1 following a rocket into the back of the net by Ennis. The Rams were not deterred and managed to score a fast-break goal and tie the game again. Coast Guard finished the first quarter up 3-2 after another goal from Chase.

The start of the second quarter remained just as close for the two teams. URI tied the game at three apiece, but Coast Guard answered with a goal from Chase and 2/c Nick Zablotny's (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) first goal of the night. At that point, the Rams began to find their offense and scored four straight goals to end the half with a 7-5 lead over the Bears.

Coming out of halftime, the Bears responded at the face-off "x" with Ennis winning the draw and making his way straight to the crease for his second goal. The next few minutes were quiet as the teams traded possessions without scoring. The Bears continued their attack and were rewarded for their tenacity when 4/c Stu Carley (Houston, Texas/James E. Taylor) scored off an assist from 4/c Eric (EJ) Schmid (Robbinsville NJ./Robbinsville) to tie the game at 7-7.

The Rams were not intimidated and managed to rattle off two more goals over the next eight minutes of play. Fortunately for Coast Guard, Carley was able to halt URI's run with another goal assisted by Schmid. This goal set up a run for the Bears, who saw Zablotny, Chase, and Ennis each add a tally to finish the 3rd quarter up 11-9.

Coast Guard's two goal cushion quickly evaporated in the final quarter as the Rams came out shooting and scored twice to tie the game again at 11-11. As the quarter progressed, the crowd remained on the edge of their seats and the Bears failed to capitalize on a man-up possession. Soon after though, Zablotny intercepted a URI pass and took it straight to the rack to give the Bears their go-ahead goal and put the score at 12-11.

Led by 1/c Greg Bernstein (Baltimore, Md./Mcdonogh), the Bears defense went into overdrive to try and protect their lead. Schmid scored the Bear's final goal of the evening to give them a 13-11 lead. URI was able to score one more with 1:43 left in the game, but stellar play by the Bears defense held URI in check until the final whistle


Coast Guard will receive a bye in the first round of the PCLL D2 playoffs and will await word of their semifinal opponent. The PCLL Tournament will take place at the University of New Hampshire and Bears are scheduled to play Friday, 6 May at 9:00 PM.


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