Opitz Scores Winner in OT as Rams Edge Hartwick

ONEONTA, NY- Zach Gropper (Syosset, NY)/Syosset) scored with just 45 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, but Hartwick ultimately fell in the extra period 9-8 to Farmingdale State on Saturday afternoon. The Rams get their first win of the season to improve to 1-2 overall. The Hawks suffer their first loss of the year and fall to 2-1.

Phil Schaefer (Holbrook, NY/Sachem North) scored two goals and added two assists on the day. Harry Hughes also had a pair of scores. Gropper, Roy Simmons (Fayetteville, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius), Irvens Dupuy (Norwalk, CT/Norwalk), and Bobby Cassidy (Oceanside, NY/Oceanside) all notched one goal each.

The Rams were led by Jason Opitz who scores three times including the game-winner in the overtime period. Bobby Thomas scored twice. Steven Suris, Mike Strebel, Trace Agostino and Matthew Visintin all scored once.

The Hawks scored 1:40 into the first quarter on a goal by Dupuy and then led 2-0 just 34 seconds later on Hughes' first score of the day. The Rams tacked on two goals toward the end of the quarter to even the game at 2-2.

Farmingdale State took the lead at 12:47 of the second quarter when Thomas dished out to Opitz for the goal and a 3-2 advantage. Following a cross-check penalty on the Rams Nicholas Mattei at 9:47, the Hawks would take advantage on the man-up opportunity and scored on Schaefer's goal to even the contest at 3-3. Cassidy would then score with a 1:15 left in the quarter to give 'Wick a 4-3 lead at halftime.

The Hawks scored the first two goals of the third frame to go ahead 6-3 for their biggest lead of the game. The Rams would rally, however, and score four straight times covering the third and fourth quarters to lead 7-6 with 11:08 remaining to play.

Schaefer's goal at 8:05 tied the game at 7-all before Suris' score at 5:03 put the Rams on top 8-7. Farmingdale State would hold that lead until the final 45 seconds of the fourth period when Mike Vaglica (Newton, MA/Newton North) found Gropper for the score and Hartwick knotted the game at eight to force the extra period.

The Rams controlled the opening faceoff of overtime and scored on the only shot of period. Vincent Ariano passed to Opitz who fired a hard shot that went past goaltender Carl Lengel (Lynbrook, NY/Lynbrook) and in the goal to give Farmingdale State the win.

Lengel started in goal and stopped 12 shots. Thomas Fallon picked up the win for the Rams and had nine saves between the pipes.

Defensively, Jake Cooper (Manlius, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius) picked up a team-high four groundballs. He also led the Hawks in caused turnovers with four.

Hartwick led in shots 33-31. The Rams had a slight advantage in groundballs, 23-20.

The Hawks will face cross-city rival Oneonta State on Tuesday. Game time will be at 4:00 p.m.

* * * *

Oneonta, N.Y. - Farmingdale State senior midfielder Jason Opitz (West Hempstead, N.Y.) scored the game-winning goal 39 seconds into overtime as the Rams earned a 9-8 victory at Hartwick College this afternoon in Oneonta, N.Y.

Trailing 2-0 late in the first period, Opitz cut the deficit in half with an unassisted goal. Sophomore attack Trace Agostino (Bellmore, N.Y.) tied the game at 2-2 of the feed from Opitz with 39 seconds left to play in the first.

The Rams (1-2) took their first lead of the game, 3-2, on Opitz's second goal only 2:13 into the second period. The Hawks (2-1) responded with a man-up goal by junior attack Phil Schaefer (Holbrook, N.Y.) to tie the game at 3-3 with 9:20 left in the half. Hartwick took a 4-3 advantage into the break after a Bobby Cassidy (Oceanside, N.Y.) score late in the second period.

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