Alfred vs. Utica College
April 7, 2012
The Game Story:
Utica, NY – The Utica College men's lacrosse team did not waste any time, outscoring host Alfred University 5-1 in the first 15 minutes of action, as the Pioneers went on to earn their second straight Empire 8 Conference contest, 14-9, over the Saxons on Saturday afternoon. Alfred made a late push, outscoring UC 6-1 during a stretch in the second half to knot the score at 9-9, but the Pioneers proved they are resilient by netting the final five goals of the game in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Junior Ben Winkler netted a game-high six goals, while sophomore Joe Schoen remained hot, totaling five points (three assists, two goals) to help the Pioneers improve to 7-4 overall and 2-1 in Empire 8 Conference play.

Utica is now just one win shy of tying the school-record for wins in a single-season, which has been recorded by three different teams in the program's 13-year history ('03, '04, '09). The Pioneers return home to the friendly confines of Charles A. Gaetano Stadium on Saturday when they will host Empire 8 Conference power and nationally-ranked No. 7 Stevens Institute of Technology. The contest is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Alfred's record moved to 3-8 overall and the Saxons are now 0-3 in conference play.

After being held scoreless for the first 6:32 of action, the Pioneers exploded for four straight goals in a span of less than three minutes to take an early 4-0 lead. Four different players scored including Chris Gibbs, Winkler, Justin Edelstein and David Craig. Alfed answered with its first goal of the game at the 4:05 marker, before Winkler scored the final goal of the first quarter to give the Pioneers a four goal cushion, 5-1.

UC outscored the home team 3-2 in the second quarter to take an 8-3 lead into the halftime intermission. The Pioneers did not score for the first 11:27 of the second quarter until sophomore Scott Baron broke the ice with his only goal of the day, assisted by Schoen, to put UC on top 6-2. Winkler and junior Trent Thomas each tallied a goal with under a minute to go in the half to give the Pioneers their largest lead yet, 8-3, at half.

Alfred would not go down without a fight as it outscored UC 5-1 in the third quarter to put a true scare in the Pioneers. The Saxons capped their run with a goal to open the fourth quarter and the contest was tied at 9-9 with 12:55 remaining in regulation.

That's when UC decided it was not going to give the game away. The Pioneers netted five unanswered tallies, two from the stick of Schoen, to walk away with a five goal victory. Chris Gibbs registered two assists in the Pioneers game-winning charge.

Senior goalie Joe Davis made 14 saves in the victory, while classmate Mick Krajacic caused a game-high five turnovers and scooped up four ground balls. Senior Oliver Barney won 13 face-offs and he added five ground balls, while Tom Byrne was able to pick up a career-best six ground balls.

Alfred, which outshot the visitors 39-37 on the afternoon, received two goals a piece from Stefan Dabkowski and Derek Green.