April 10, 2010

No. 5 Dowling Takes Down No. 1 C.W. Post, 8-7

from press release

Dowling goalie Ryan Dougherty looks for an outlet Saturday after one of his 13 saves, spearheading the No. 5 Golden Lions' 8-7 upset of No. 1 C.W. Post.

© Lee Weissman

BROOKVILLE, N.Y. -- Behind 13 saves from Ryan Dougherty (Port Jefferson Station, NY), the Dowling men's lacrosse team handed No. 1 nationally ranked and defending national champion C.W. Post its first loss of the season. The Golden Lions improve to 8-1 with their seventh straight win, while the Pioneers drop to 10-1.

With C.W. Post not having lost a contest since March 21, 2009, its 19-game win streak would seem to trump the seven-game run by the Golden Lions started on March 13 of this year.  However, strong defensive play would be the name of the game, as Dowling held C.W. Post to one goal in the fourth quarter to give them the 8-7 East Coast Conference victory.

Both teams would would put the pressure on in their respective defensive zones, but it would be the Pioneers who would strike first, as Nick Coric scored from a Joe Meo pass at the 13:13 mark to put them on the board. Dowling would be held scoreless in the first quarter, as it was outshot 9-2.

Dougherty, however, made five saves in the frame to keep it within one. 

Down one going into the second, Dowling struck first, as Brandon Bergersen fired one in on his own to tie it up at a goal apiece with 13:37 remaining.  They weren't done there, as C.W. Post seemed to win the next faceoff, but Kyle O'Brien would be able to grab a loose ball and fire it into the net to give Dowling its second goal in under 10 seconds, putting the Lions up 2-1.

After James Johnston tied it for Post, Dan Abbene responded quickly with his second goal of the season to once again give Dowling the one-goal advantage. With the game hardly over, C.W. Post would score two more before the half to give the Pioneers a 4-3 lead over the Lions.

Spread-out scoring would help Dowling tie it at 6 after three quarters, with Abbene adding another to his total. Redmond Killpack and Vito DeMola would each put one on the board. 

With the score tied, both teams came out firing in the fourth. Dougherty recorded another three saves off nine shots in the frame.

O'Brien snuck one in off an assist from John Amato. Less than a minute later, PJ Nunez would give the Golden Lions a two-goal lead with just under 12 minutes remaining.

The Pioneers kicked it into high gear, putting more pressure on Dougherty and the Dowling defense. Johnston would score once more, pulling his team within one with 3:49 remaining.

Dowling would be able to take the win as long as it could hold possession, but a slashing call put the Lions a man down with just over a minute left to play, giving the Pioneers one last chance to send it into overtime. The Dowling poles did their part, however, forcing loose balls and winding down the clock to secure the 8-7 victory. 

Dougherty recorded 13 saves on the day, while Dan Orlando of C.W. Post would have an equally as impressive game, turning away 11 shots to keep the game close. Turnovers were plentiful in the game, with the Pioneers committing 32 to Dowling's 27. Post would also struggle in man-up opportunities, failing to take advantage of all six of its chances, including the crucial fourth-quarter breakdown.

It was just C.W. Post's second loss at home since March 15, 2008.

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