Clark Holds off Furious Rally by Manhattanville

Worcester, Mass. Host Clark raced out to huge halftime lead then held off a furious rally and escaped with an 11-7 win over Manhattanville on Saturday evening in non-league action at Granger Field.

The Cougars improve to 4-2 on the season and 2-0 all-time against the Valiants, who remain in search of their first victory of the season (0-7).

Clark got the second four-goal game of the season from Jeffrey Wasson (Buckhorn, Ontario) and the third career hat trick from freshman Rob Holden (East Longmeadow, Mass.) to lead the offensive attack. Kevin Ranta (Beverly, Mass.), meanwhile was stellar in between the pipes yet again, turning back a career-best tying 13 shots.

Wasson put the Cougars in front 2-0 less than three minutes into the contest with a pair of unassisted goals.

Tom Tarczali (Stratford, Conn.) responded with the Valiants' first score at the 4:38 mark, but Keegan Callahan (Tewksbury, Mass.) recorded his lone marker of the contest minutes later, making the score, 3-1.

Clark tacked on two more goals before the frame ended on two tallies from Holden the second of which came on the man advantage.

Manhattanville was held scoreless in the second period but the Cougars added two on a Patrick Burke (New Canaan, Conn.) feed to Wasson and an excellent unassisted score from Peter Christiansen (Seattle, Wash.), giving the Scarlet and White a 7-1 halftime edge.

Things almost immediately went in favor of the Valiants as the second half started, beginning with Jack Polak (Longmeadow, Mass.) scoring off of a Will Sahakian (Natick, Mass.) pass on the man advantage 3:09 into the third.

Less than two minutes later Peter Callahan (Fairfield, Conn.) found the back of the net with help from Billy Motherway (Kings Park, N.Y.) and Manhattanville closed the gap to 7-3.

The Cougars found their offensive stride again, scoring three straight goals to end the period with the last coming from Holden his second man-up goal of the game to give Clark some breathing room at 10-3 heading into the fourth.

Manhattanville scored four straight to start the quarter as Polak notched his second of the night, Sahakian banged home a pair and Justin Figueroa (Ardsley, N.Y.) fired a shot that Ranta couldn't get a control of that found the back of the net for a 10-7 contest with four minutes to play.

Clark was able to win the faceoff and work the clock down until Nick Figliola (Weston, Conn.) sealed the game with 1:52 to play, collecting his second goal of the game as he was falling to the ground and surrounded by Valiant defenders.

The game was extremely physical, with 18 penalties called 11 of them against the Cougars. In addition to the offensive stars and Ranta in goal, the Clark special teams proved to be effective as well, holding the Valiants to 2 for 11 on extra-man opportunities.

Manhattanville's netminder, Dom Poletto (Englewood, Colo.), was fantastic in goal, making 16 saves.

Clark will return to action with a home contest against Husson University on Wednesday, while the Valiants host the Merchant Marine on the same day.

2013-03-23



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