Dominican Falls at Whittier in Overtime

WHITTIER, Calif. - As has been its habit this season, Dominican University of California fell behind early and relied on a furious rally late to win the game.

It almost worked again. Trailing 8-2 entering the final 15-minute period against the Whittier College Poets on Saturday, the Penguins scored seven goals against All-American goalie Robert Bazlen, three in a row by Dalton Copeland in a 2:12 span and capped when senior Reed Upson tallied the game-tying score with 12 seconds to play.

But freshman Dylan Acevedo, who won 8 of 8 face-offs to fuel the fourth-quarter comeback, was called for a rare illegal touching of the ball penalty on a face-off and the Poets (7-5) responded by netting the winning goal a man-up in overtime, handing the Penguins (6-6) a heartbreaking 10-9 defeat on Senior Day at Whittier.

"There's no team in the country that has more heart than we do and I take a lot of pride in that. I'm proud of the kids for the way they battle," said Head Coach Ned Webster. "It's been the same story all year. We dig ourselves a hole and then we finally start executing in the fourth quarter."

They did it on Saturday without freshman Kevin Powers, the team's leading scorer, who was injured in the third period. He had assisted on Upson's first goal in the first half, which followed a Powers goal from Jake Fritz.

"[Powers' injury] kind of forced other guys to step up and they did," Webster said. "[Goalie] Sean Donohue played great."

Donohue had 16 saves, but Dominican couldn't contain Whittier star Sam Russell, who had four goals and four assists, including a helper on the game-winning goal in overtime.

Freshman Jake Bernstein had a goal and four assists in the contest and Cam Evangelho had a goal and an assist in the fourth period for Dominican.

It was the Penguins' first-ever game against Whittier College, two of the three NCAA sanctioned lacrosse programs in the state of California. It also was Dominican's first game since a 5-4 Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association loss to Colorado Mesa in Grand Junction, Colo. on April 7 while the Poets had played three matches in the past 10 days.

The Penguins conclude the season on Saturday, April 28, at historic Kezar Stadium in San Francisco in the annual "Battle For The Bay" against Bay Area rival and the only other Division II men's lacrosse program in California, Notre Dame de Namur University. Game time is 7:00 p.m.

2012-04-22



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