Bears Hold off Pioneer Rally for One-Goal Victory

POTSDAM, N.Y.-SUNY Potsdam (4-2) built a 10-2 third quarter lead and held off a furious Utica College (5-4) rally for a 10-9 non-conference victory on Saturday afternoon.

The Bears got two goals and an assist from junior attackman Kyle Nicholas (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill) and a goal and two assists from sophomore midfielder Jared Flath (Dexter, N.Y./General Brown). Junior midfielder Ben Winkler (Rodman, N.Y./Immaculate Heart) scored a game-high six goals for the Pioneers.

Senior attackman Pete Pike (Watertown, N.Y./General Brown) opened the scoring at 12:50 of the first quarter with an assist from sophomore attackman Rob Kunz (Watertown, N.Y./Immaculate Heart). Nicholas made it a 2-0 contest at 9:45 with a helper from senior captain Ryan Paparella (Whitesboro, N.Y./Whitesboro). Kunz struck at 2:49 and sophomore attackman Kevin Logan (Brasher Falls, N.Y./St. Lawrence Central) tacked on a fourth goal with 14 seconds on the clock and Potsdam led 4-0 after one quarter.

Pike buried a pass from Flath at 12:44 of the second quarter for a 5-0 Bears advantage. At 3:42, sophomore attackman Scott Baron (Flemington, N.J./Cushing) finally got the Pioneers on the board. However, Nicholas answered three minutes later and Potsdam took a 6-1 lead into the break.

Paparella and freshman midfielder John Hawk (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) notched the first two markers of the second half at 13:56 and 13:35. Winkler started his one-man show at 9:34 of the third quarter. Flath set up junior midfielder Ryan McConnell (Camillus, N.Y./West Genesee) at 8:22 and then scored his own at 3:23 for a commanding 10-2 Potsdam advantage. At 2:00 and 1:14 of the third quarter, Winkler scored his second and third goals to ignite a 7-0 Utica run to finish the game.

Junior attackman Trent Thomas (Akwesasne, Ontario/Massena) cut the Bears' lead to 10-5 at 12:12 of the fourth quarter. Winkler scored a man-up goal nearly a minute later and Thomas made it 10-7 with 10:16 remaining. Winkler scored the final two goals 49 seconds apart and Utica trailed just 10-9 with 6:15 to go.

Potsdam put three shots on Pioneer senior goalie Wilson Mukrdechian (Watertown, N.Y./Watertown), but he corralled each one to give his offense a chance to even the score. With 36 seconds left Baron fired a shot through a crowd from the left side of the net, but Bears senior goalie Mike Quinlan (Buffalo, N.Y./Williamsville South) caught it and started a successful clear to run out the clock.

Quinlan earned his fourth win of the season with 10 saves, while Mukredechian turned aside 15 shots. Potsdam outshot Utica 37-29 and collected 45 ground balls to the Pioneers' 31. Flath won 11 of 16 faceoffs for the Bears.

The Bears wrap up their non-conference schedule with a road match-up with crosstown rival Clarkson at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4.


Create a free lacrosse website