April 13, 2013

Top-Ranked Mercyhurst Uses Late Rally to Sink Post

from press release

BROOKVILLE, N.Y. - The No. 1 Mercyhurst men's lacrosse team won, 14-13, at No. 5 LIU-Post Saturday afternoon. The Lakers rallied from a 13-10 fourth-quarter deficit as Zac Reid scored the game-winning goal with 1:51 remaining. Reid recorded four goals and two assists to lead the Lakers to their 11th straight win to start the season.

Post scored with 10:43 left, taking a 13-10 lead. After a Pioneer turnover, James Chayka scored at the 8:59 mark to give the Lakers life. Each team had several chances in the next few minutes, but Michael Grace and Tom Bradley both made saves in goal to keep the score at 13-11. The teams each had a turnover, with Mercyhurst taking possession with under five minutes left. Eventually, Brady Heseltine scored at the 4:08 mark to pull the visitors within one.

Post was called for a slashing penalty, setting up the Lakers with a man-up opportunity. Reid found Jake McAndrew for the tying goal at the 3:20 mark. After Bradley denied Deven Alves, the Pioneers were called for another penalty with just over two minutes remaining. With 1:51 to play, Brian Scheetz assisted on a Reid goal, putting Mercyhurst in the lead.

Work was left to be done, though, as the Pioneers won the ensuing faceoff and Connor Drost had a shot, but Grace made the save with 1:08 left. The Lakers turned the ball over on their possession and Post attempted two more shots, with Grace stopping the second try at the 40-second mark. Mercyhurst successfully ran out the clock from there, extending the Lakers' win streak and all but locking up an NCAA Tournament spot in the process.

The Lakers had a strong start, as Reid scored 46 seconds in. After a Grace save, Mercyhurst went on the attack. Chayka made it 2-0 with 11:05 to play in the first quarter. Bradley and Grace continued to be tested, with each making several key stops throughout the game. Post was held off the board until late in the period, but Marty Beccaris scored twice in 34 seconds to even the score. The Pioneers hit the post later in the frame and the visitors took advantage. After gaining possession, the Lakers called timeout. With nine seconds remaining, Chayka scored again, making it 3-2.

Mitch McAvoy won the second quarter faceoff and immediately went on the attack, finding Scheetz for a goal eight seconds in for a 4-2 advantage. The midfielders continued their big day as Reid scored with 11:53 showing on the clock. Post scored two goals in a row to get back in the match. After McAvoy won a faceoff, Mercyhurst cashed in, as McAndrew hit Heseltine for a goal with 3:49 to go in the half. The hosts closed the first-half scoring with a goal at the 1:47 mark. Mercyhurst entered the locker room with a 6-5 edge.

Joe Costello scored ten seconds into the third quarter to tie the game. A few minutes later, Post took the lead for the first time. The Lakers then peppered the Pioneer net, attempting several shots and eventually getting a man-up chance. With 7:31 to go, Reid found McAndrew for a score to tie it at 7. McAvoy won the ensuing draw and sprinted in for a goal just ten seconds later, regaining the Lakers' lead.

Man-up opportunities were a factor all game, as Post converted two opportunities to take a 9-8 advantage with just over five minutes remaining in the third frame. With 3:08 left, Costello scored again to stretch the Post margin. The Pioneers turned the ball over on their next attack, and the Lakers took advantage. Reid scored with 1:50 to play in the quarter. Post scored less than a minute later to take an 11-9 edge into the fourth period.

With 13:28 left, Scheetz found McAndrew for a goal, but Chris Ruhlig answered two minutes, giving Post a 12-10 lead. Anthony Bedardis' goal with 10:43 made it 13-10, putting the Lakers on the brink. However, Reid and company would not be denied.

Reid totaled four goals and two assists. McAndrew had three goals and an assist, while Chayka posted a hat trick. Scheetz added a goal, two helpers, and nine ground balls. Heseltine scored twice and McAvoy had a goal, an assist, and eight ground balls. Grace made 16 saves in net. Costello paced Post with four goals and two helpers. Bradley made nine stops in goal.

The Lakers won despite being outshot, 41-35, and winning 11-31 faceoffs. Post converted all five of its man-up chances, while Mercyhurst went 3-4 on its tries.

Mercyhurst is now 11-0 in 2013. Post dropped to 8-2. The Lakers play at Lake Erie College in an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) match on Tuesday, April 16. Faceoff is set for 6 p.m.

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