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SUNY Potsdam lacrosse teams notch hard-fought wins

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POTSDAM — The SUNY Potsdam men’s lacrosse team would simply not go away. Through six ties and three lead changes, the Bears dug deep and earned their first victory over Plattsburgh in nearly four years with an 8-7 triumph at Maxcy Turf Field for a key SUNYAC conference win on Wednesday night.

It was the first time that the Potsdam men’s lacrosse team had defeated Plattsburgh since April 28, 2010.

Senior goalie Ryan Duffy (Liverpool) set a new career-high with 19 saves, and the team got a lift on offense by a trio of underclassmen in the fourth quarter to complete the rally.

Trailing 6-5 entering the final quarter, Potsdam (7-3 overall, 1-1 SUNYAC) tied it at 6-6 when sophomore attacker Ed Doherty (Amherst) launched a shot into the net from Kunz with 12:35 left. Kennedy spun and struck to give the Bears a 7-6 lead with 7:29 remaining and Stone flung it through the back end for a two-goal cushion with 6:23. Cardinals’ senior Tim Lawrence cut the deficit to 8-7 with 3:16 left for Plattsburgh (8-4 overall, 1-2 SUNYAC).

After a Plattsburgh turnover, senior midfielder Matt Donovan (Oswego) picked up the groundball and Lawrence was called for a 30-second penalty for a push with 1:03 left. From there, the Bears drained out the remainder of the clock and the bench rushed out near goal to celebrate with Duffy.

“Plattsburgh has a great team and I think our kids raised their level of play with a their defensive effort tonight,” said Potsdam coach Rick Berkman.

“[Ryan] Duffy has been playing great all season for us. [Ryan] McConnell, [Kyle] Hauk, and [Matt] Donovan did a great job. I thought their number one [Tim Lawrence] and number nine [Brendan Damm) players were tough and guys like Jeff Love did a nice job of controlling them.”

Kennedy and Stone had two goals apiece, Kunz had a goal and three assists, and senior Jeff Love (Watertown), senior Ryan McConnell (Syracuse), sophomore Kyle Hauk (Sackets Harbor) and Donovan harassed Plattsburgh defenders all evening whenever a Cardinals player would approach the area of the goal crease.

“I have to thank our defense,” Duffy said. “They were unbelievable. This was what we were looking to do as a team. Our coaches definitely prepared us this week. Our starting defense has been playing lock down all season. I can’t say enough about those guys. And, the offense stepped up big time.”

Lawrence scored unassisted to strike first for the Cardinals.

Duffy made a tough save from Damm from point blank range and then partially stuffed a shot by Jack Felter.

Despite a 45-19 shots advantage by Plattsburgh, Duffy demonstrated why he has been a three-time SUNYAC Goalie of the Week on three occasions this season.

Potsdam cashed in on a man up advantage with sophomore midfielder Pat Bonafede scoring on an assist from Kunz at 6:18 remaining in the first quarter.

Damm gave Plattsburgh a 2-1 lead at 3:14. But, Kunz rifled a straightaway goal from about 10 yards away to knot it at 2-2.

Andrew Tralongo was able to pick up a loose groundball and took it about three quarters of the way back down the field before dishing off to Felter for the score to make it 3-2 in the closing seconds before the end of the first quarter.

Duffy faced 17 shots in the first quarter and recorded eight saves.

Senior captain Derek Frost (Buffalo) made a nice find to freshman Berkley Stone (Madison, Conn.), who found the top left hand corner of the goal to tie it back up at 3-3.

Sophomore Matt Kennedy (Clay) gave Potsdam its first lead of the game from about eight yards away on a feed from freshman Matt Moran (Watertown) causing Plattsburgh coach Ryan Cavanagh to call for a timeout with 9:12 left in the second quarter.

Felter tied the score at 4 and James Read reclaimed the lead back for Plattsburgh with a goal at 3:54. Cardinals held a 27-10 shots advantage at the half.

Junior midfielder Jon Woodworth (Carthage) evened the score at 5 on a niffy centering feed from Kunz, who hit him in stride directly in front of the net.

The Cardinals took the lead back 6-5 on a man up situation on a score from Anthony Pafundi after a 30-second interference penalty was called on the Bears.

Potsdam is scheduled to play at Brockport at 2 p.m. Saturday in a SUNYAC game.

POTSDAM WOMEN PREVAIL

The women’s lacrosse team (4-6) scored 13 second half goals in posting a 19-15 victory over host SUNY Morrisville (5-5).

Sophomore attack Bri McClusky (Watertown) scorched the Mustangs with a game and career-high 10 points on six goals and four assists. Senior attack Michelle Varney (Canton) also had career day with seven points on six goals and on assist. Junior attack Bailey Weigel (East Amherst) had four goals and a helper and totaled another 12 draw controls. Freshman goalie Devan Olschewske (Canandaigua) made six saves to improve to 3-0.

The teams swapped leads and goals in the tightly contested first half. Varney got the Bears on the board first three minutes into the contest on an assist from freshman midfielder Katie Lapinski (Canton). The Mustangs tied the score 39 seconds later, but McClusky buried a free position goal at 23:49 to give Potsdam it’s last lead of the half. Morrisville got the next two goals for a 3-2 lead with 19:26 on the clock. Varney tied the score on a free position at 14:29. After the Mustangs regained the lead, Weigel converted on another free position at 9:42. Morrisville got the next two tallies, but were answered in kind by Varney with a helper from sophomore midfielder Lizzie Marchbanks (Liverpool) at 1:11 and Weigel from Lapinski with 10 seconds remaining. However, the Mustangs had just enough time for one final goal in the half, finding the back of the net with one tick left and took a 7-6 advantage into the break.

The Bears took control in the final period. Freshman attack Mariah Pierce (Syracuse) knotted the score at 7-7 on an assist from McClusky and ignited a 6-1 run. Another Varney free position marker 25 seconds later, put Potsdam in front for good. At 25:28, Lapinski netted an unassisted tally and McClusky struck again at 24:12 for a 10-7 Bears lead. McClusky finished a feed from Varney 47 seconds later and Varney returned the favor for McClusky at 22:42 for a 12-8 advantage. Two straight Mustang tallies closed the gap to 12-10 with 17:58 to play, but Potsdam put the game away after that. A 5-0 Bears run gave Potsdam a commanding 17-10 lead at the 10:55 mark. McClusky scored three times during the seven-minute span, with the other two goals coming from Weigel and Varney. After two more Morrisville goals, the Bears regained the seven-goal advantage on tallies from freshman midfielder Michaela Cole (Parishville) and Weigel’s third of the game with 6:09 left. The Mustangs rallied for three goals in the final four minutes.

Hunter Waldau scored six goals and added an assist for Morrisville, while Shelby Wood contributed three goals.

Potsdam outshot the Mustangs 35-28 and topped them in ground balls by a 25-18 count.

The Bears are back in action on Saturday at 3 p.m. when they host ninth-ranked SUNY Geneseo.

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