Man-Down Defense Stones Griffins as Warriors Win Squeaker

GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. A third-quarter rally by Lycoming and a sterling 21-save performance that included a last-second man-down stop from junior Alex Wylly (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) helped it preserve a 7-6 victory over Gwynedd Mercy on Saturday, March 22, at the Gwynedd Mercy Athletic Complex.

Holiding the slim one-goal lead, the Warriors (2-5 overall) went a man-down with 55 seconds left. However, Gwynedd Mercy (4-3 overall) was only able to get one shot off, which Wylly stopped before junior Thomas Hanson (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) scooped up the ground ball and time ran out.

Wylly was brilliant in the fourth quarter, as he made four saves in the last eight minutes after Gwynedd Mercy closed within a goal with 8:06 remaining. In all, he made seven saves in the period and allowed just two goals.

Lycoming committed nine penalties in the game, but paid the cost for none thanks to a sterling man-down defense, while the extra-man offense converted 2 of 4 opportunities. The team also played well in transition, converting 17 of 21 clear attempts.

After the Griffins took a 4-3 lead with a pair of goals to open the third quarter, the Warriors got back in the game, forcing a turnover and getting possession. The Warriors fired five shots before junior Sean Reilly (Corning, N.Y./Corning-Painted Post West) tied the game with 8:50 left.

After a penalty kill that included a clear after a save by Wylly, the Warriors got settled into an offense, with sophomore Mike Cooper (Riva, Md./Archbishop Spalding) finding Reilly for the go-ahead goal with 6:22 left. A Gwynedd Mercy turnover led to another Warrior goal in the period, with junior midfielder Christian Jacobs (Gwynn Oak, Md./Baltimore Lutheran) denting the twice with 2:24 left in the quarter.

The Griffins closed within a goal after controlling possession for the opening two minutes of the fourth, as Mason Risner scored with 13:15 left. A penalty off the goal also gave Gwynedd Mercy a man-up opportunity, but sophomore Michael Wagner (Pasadena, Md./St. Mary's) came up with a huge ground ball off the faceoff and a Gwynedd Mercy penalty resulted. The Warriors capitalized, with Cooper finding sophomore Lee Pappas (New Windsor, Md./Glenelg Country School) for the game-winner with 11:58 left.

The Griffins scored a goal with 8:04 left, but Wylly shut down the Griffins from there to help the Warriors close out their second straight win.

Gwynedd Mercy opened the first quarter with a goal, but Cooper found Reilly to tie the game with 10:24 left, and then Cooper scored unassisted with 7:55 left. The Griffins tied the score by the end of the quarter, but in the second quarter, Reilly scored the lone goal in a man-up situation, helping Lycoming take a 3-2 lead into the break.

Reilly finished with four goals and Cooper posted a goal and four assists to lead the Warriors. Hanson and senior Matt McCaffer (Marcellus, N.Y./Marcellus) each notched three ground balls and junior Joe Marchetti (Cortland, N.Y./Homer) added two caused turnovers and two ground balls.

Risner led the Griffins with two goals and Nico Belardo added two assists. Tony McCraw picked up a goal and 12 ground balls, as he won 14 of 17 faceoffs. Belardo and Reese Lachner each added two caused turnovers.

The Warriors get back on the field on Wednesday, March 26, when they open the Commonwealth Conference slate by facing Lebanon Valley.

2014-03-22



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