Dominican Outgunned by Chestnut Hill

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - Freshman Cody Bernstein scored three goals with two assists and brother Jake Bernstein and sophomore Kevin Powers had two goals and an assist, but Dominican couldn't recover from a 13-4 first-half deficit Saturday and dropped their home-opening game to Chestnut Hill, 19-13, before a crowd of more than 400 on Kennelly Field in the John F. Allen Athletics Complex.

The Penguins (1-1) scored four consecutive goals in the final four minutes of the third period to close within 15-9, but the Griffins (2-1) from Philadelphia, a consensus Top 10 nationally-ranked team in preseason, prevailed. Chestnut Hill, which returned its top four scorers from a team that finished last season by winning six of its last seven games, brought 47 players with them on their road trip to the Bay Area and played 32 of them against the Penguins.

Senior co-captain Cam Evangelho tallied two goals and Dalton Copeland contributed a goal and assist to the Dominican effort. Teammates Clifford Grant and Jake Craycraft, both freshmen, also scored as did sophomore Ian Nickel. Ryan Williams came off the bench to record eight saves in goal.

Dominican outscored and outshot Chestnut Hill in the second half and had more groundballs and won more faceoffs but five turnovers and four fouls in the first half helped allow the Griffins to dominate possession and build a 13-3 lead.

"If nothing else we just need to focus on the fact that this is game 2 of a 13-game season and the thing we can really focus on is the fact that we never quit and that is a veryunderrated quality," said Dominican Head Coach Ned Webster. "There are a lot of teams that might have rolled over and we didn't do that and that was a result of the belief we have in ourselves."

The Penguins leave Monday for a challenging four-game road trip back East. On March 5 in North Carolina, Dominican plays Mars Hill College (3-1 this season) followed by games on March 7 against Lees-McCray College and March 9 against 10th-ranked Pfeiffer before the road trip culminates with a March 12 match in Erie, Pa. against Mercyhurst College, defending NCAA Division II tournament semifinalists who are currently are the No. 1 ranked team in the nation.

Despite solid goaltending by Sean Donohue, the Penguins fell behind early on Saturday, beginning with a beautiful back-to-the-goal, over-the-shoulder, no-look goal by Chestnut Hill's Shane Morlock, one of eight Griffins' players to score. Jake Bernstein's goal off an assist by Dylan Acevedo was Dominican's lone goal as Chestnut Hill built a 6-1 lead.

However, the Penguins seized some momentum when Powers scored then, 42 seconds later, Cody Bernstein tallied off a pass by Copeland to pull Dominican to within 6-3 with 10:36 left in the second period. Copeland then had another excellent scoring opportunity but Griffins' goalie Dakota Maurer made the save at the same time the Penguins were penalized.

The game's momentum then swung back to Chestnut Hill as the Griffins scored a man-up goal then added six more even-strength goals against two Dominican goalies before halftime for a 13-3 advantage. Clifford scored off an assist from Cody Bernstein with 18.9 seconds remaining before half to stop Chestnut Hill's run.

"Every year we focus on these games against Top 10 teams and that's the level we aspire to be," Webster said. "There's always that curiosity and excitement for games like this, but we said it before the game and at halftime and after the game that when we have the ball we're a very good team. That's what you saw in the first half. We simply did not have the ball."

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