Nyit vs. Limestone
May 17, 2008
The Game Story:
NYIT Headed To National Championship With 11-8 Win Over Limestone

Old Westbury, N.Y., May 17, 2008 Ė Sophomore Austin Carino (Huntington, N.Y.) scored a game-high four goals and junior Chris Powers (Salt Lake City, Utah) was stellar in the net, making a career-high 15 saves as the NYIT Bears defeated the Limestone Saints 11-8 this afternoon in the NCAA Division II menís lacrosse semi-finals.

The Bears (12-1) advance to their sixth national championship game and will take on Le Moyne next Sunday, May 25, 2008 at Gilette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Le Moyne defeated Bryant 11-2 in the other semi-final matchup. The NCAA Division II national championship will be broadcasted live on CBS College Sports Network beginning at 4:30 p.m.

NYITís defense held the nationís top scoring offense to just eight goals, half of their season average of 16, and scoreless in four man-up opportunities.

Sophomore Matt Sullivan (West Islip, N.Y.) got the Bears off to a great start early in the first quarter, scoring back-to-back unassisted goals just one minute apart to give NYIT a 2-0 lead at the 10:11 mark. The two teams would trade goals over a nine second span. Sam Buppert scored unassisted with 9:53 showing on the clock to make it a 2-1 game, but Carino responded with his first of the game just nine seconds later to give the Bears a 3-1 lead. Allen Vaughn scored off of Jake Rogaliaís feed just over four minutes later to cut the Saints deficit to 3-2 with 5:18 left in the first quarter. Carino slipped inside his defender and scored off of a pretty pass from junior Matt Messina (Sayville, N.Y.) with 1:46 to play to give the Bears a 4-2 lead after one quarter.

The Saints (12-2) Brendan Storrier and Teddy Prager opened the second quarter with consecutive unassisted scores just :38 seconds apart, at 11:32 and 10:54, to tie the game at 4-4. The Saints controlled play for much of the second quarter and held NYIT without a goal until the 3:43 mark. Thatís when sophomore Michael Procida (Wantagh, N.Y.) made a nice inside dodge to beat his defender and score unassisted to break the 4-4 tie. His goal started a string of three consecutive scores by the Bears in the final three minutes of the quarter. Junior Keith Henderson (Port Jeff Station, N.Y.) followed with two consecutive scores, the second one coming as he picked up a groundball and in front of the net and fired it past Limestone goalie James Touhy, to give the Bears a 7-4 lead 1:24 before the half.

Limestone started the third quarter much in the same fashion as the second quarter, scoring the first two goals, one from Mike Poerstal at 11:10 and the other from Brock Spilker at 7:31 to pull within 7-6. Limestoneís defense held the Bears scoreless for most of the third period until Carino netted his third of the game and tipped the momentum squarely in NYITís favor. Carino slipped inside the defense once again and scored on a pass from junior Jeremy Hobson (Riverhead, N.Y.) with just :9 seconds left on the clock. Senior Jared Garcia (Bethpage, N.Y.) who dominated the face-offs for the first three quarters, winning 15 of 18, won the ensuing face-off , sprinted the length of the field and beat Touhy low to give the Bears a 9-6 lead with :4 seconds showing.

Poerstalís second goal of the game off of a feed from Justin Haworth made it a 9-7 game with 12:35 to play, but Carino teamed up with Sullivan to net his fourth of the day six minutes later and Hendersonís third goal of the game off of a Procida pass gave the Bears a four goal cushion with just under four minutes to play.

Limestone was not called for a penalty until there was just 1:39 left in the fourth quarter. The Saints held a slight edge in shots, 36-34, and groundballs, 40-39, but Garcia finished the day 15-23 in face-offs despite losing all five face-offs in the fourth quarter.

Henderson finished with four points, netting three goals and passing out an assist. Sullivan added two goals and an assist. Powers made nine saves in the second half, including three on point-blank shots from directly in front of the net that swung the momentum in NYITís direction.

Poerstal led the Saints with two goals while Storrier recorded a team-high three points on a goal and two assists. Touhy made 10 saves for Limestone in the loss.