No. 14 PBA Wins OT Thriller vs. No. 6 U.S. Coast Guard

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. –– In a drama-filled track meet between two ranked opponents, John Linnan (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan) scored with 2:51 remaining in overtime to give No. 14 Palm Beach Atlantic an 18-17 win over No. 6 U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

In the early stages of the game, PBA controlled the score and the tempo, jumping out to a 3-2 lead on goals from Nick Scalzo (Webster, N.Y./Jacksonville Univ.), Colin Price (Fairfax Station, Va./Lake Braddock), and Alex Raucci (Palm Harbor, Fla./St. Leo's University). The Coast Guard turned the tide, however, scoring four straight goals and flipping momentum–––leading 6-3 after the first quarter.

The second quarter was an offensive onslaught for the 'Fish, who scored nine goals in the second stanza. An eight minute span saw PBA outscore USCGA 7-1 to grab a 10-7 advantage with 6:21 remaining in the quarter. Nick Scalzo scored five of the seven goals on that streak; he finished with nine goals and one assist on the day. Coast Guard's Eric Schmid netted three of the next six goals during the latter stages of the second, giving him five goals in the first half and a trimmed deficit at the break–––PBA 12-11.

Palm Beach Atlantic relented on a USCGA goal early in the third (12-12), but tightened up, holding the Bears scoreless for 17 minutes. During that time, a 4-0 run capped by a goal from Dan Wilkerson (Bedford, Mass./Bedford) and two assists from Greg Swanson (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton) pushed the lead to PBA's biggest advantage, 16-12. Thanks to five minutes of Sailfish penalties (4:00 were non-releasable), Coast Guard got back into the game, scoring four of their own and holding PBA scoreless for over one quarter's time. With 1:33 remaining, an errant pass found it's way into an empty Sailfish net on a botched riding attempt, tying the score at 16-16.

After winning the ensuing faceoff, USCGA's senior captain Stuart Carley scored on a feed from Trent Moon with 0:45.7 to give the Coast Guard a 17-16 lead (their first lead since 11:14 of the second quarter). The Bears won the next draw, but a stifling Sailfish ride forced possession to the 'Fish and a timeout on the field. Following a stop by USCGA goalie Ryan Carpenter on senior Dennis Koleda, the stifling ride again produced another turnover. This time, Koleda scooped up the ground ball to find Nick Scalzo on the crease, who buried the goal that tied the game with 0:10.0 left in regulation.

In overtime, the Bears won yet another faceoff, but the Palm Beach Atlantic defense was up to the task, forcing an errant pass that sped quickly out of bounds on the fast Oxbridge Academy turf. After a PBA timeout, it was Scalzo again, drawing the attention of the Coast Guard defense and finding John Linnan, whose shot glanced off the crossbar and down, trickling past the goal line for an overtime game-winning goal at 2:51.


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