Hartwick Rallies for Dramatic Win over Alfred on Senior Day

ONEONTA, NY Three goals in the final three and a half minutes handed Hartwick a furious 11-9 come-from-behind victory over Alfred in the Hawks' season finale Saturday at Wright Stadium. The game featured three lead changes and a total of seven tie scores.

'Wick trailed 9-8 with under four minutes left before junior Mike Vaglica (Newton, MA/Newton) netted his third goal of the game to tie the score. Junior Zach Gropper (Syosset, NY/Syosset) put Hartwick in front to stay with 1:14 on the clock as he tallied his ninth goal in the Hawks' last two games, and senior Harry Hughes (Holtsville, NY/Sachem East) finished off the scoring with 19 ticks remaining to ice it.

Gropper finished the day with a game-high four goals, including the late game-winner. Hughes added three goals and two assists in his final game in a Hartwick uniform and Vaglica netted three goals and dished out an assist.

Alfred jumped out to a 3-1 first-quarter lead as Nick Como, Derek Green, and Brett Carroll scored goals in the first 9:03 of action. Vaglica opened the Hartwick scoring with 6:14 gone in the period and Hughes closed the gap to one with an unassisted score with 1:27 left as the visitors held a 3-2 edge after 15 minutes.

Hughes tied it on the man-up from Cody Ciolino (Nesconset, NY/Sachem North) just 20 seconds into the second quarter, but the Saxons regained the upper hand with two tallies 2:41 apart. Hartwick responded with a Vaglica man-up goal at 10:02 and senior Irvens Dupuy (Norwalk, CT/Norwalk) tied it on the man-advantage 2:08 later. Gropper gave Hartwick its first lead of the day with an even-strength goal with 1:47 left to play in the half and the Hawks entered halftime up 6-5.

The Saxons and Hawks traded man-up goals in the opening 6:46 from Ben Demarco and Gropper, respectively. Demarco then tied it up at 7-7 with another goal with 6:15 left in the third quarter.

The game stayed even until a big defensive play from Hartwick senior goalkeeper Carl Lengel (Lynbrook, NY/Lynbrook) led the Hawks to a go-ahead goal. Alfred's Chris Tauteroff's long pass near midfield found a Saxon attacker right in front of goal all alone, but Lengel charged out and a bruising hit knocked the ball away to preserve the tie. Senior Max Cooper (Manlius, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius) grabbed the ensuing ground ball and the Hawks cleared before Bobby Cassidy (Oceanside, NY/Oceanside) set up Gropper for the transition goal and an 8-7 Hartwick lead at the end of three.

The Saxons, however, started strong in the fourth as they scored twice inside of seven minutes to take a 9-8 advantage. They also successfully killed a 2-minute non-releasable penalty and it appeared AU would escape Wright Stadium with the victory. The Hawks had other ideas, however, as Vaglica, Gropper, and Hughes capped the comeback with the trio of goals in the final 3:29 to secure the 'Wick win.

The Saxons edge the Hawks in shots, 38-36, in the contest. Hartwick held a large advantage in ground balls, 41-30. 'Wick converted on four of its 12 man-up opportunities while limiting Alfred to just 1 of 8.

Carroll, Demarco, and Green paced the Alfred attack with two goals apiece. Brendan Sullivan contributed a goal and three helpers and Tanner Morse added one goal and two assists.

Hartwick's nine seniors Hughes, Cassidy, Dupuy, Lengel, Max Cooper, Jake Cooper (Manlius, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius), Pat Leone (Northport, NY/Northport), Joe Pellegrino (Oakdale, NY/Connetquot) and Giuseppe Rice (Peekskill, NY/Peekskill) would combined for four goals, three assists, 24 ground balls, and four caused turnovers in their final game at Hartwick.

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