Us Merchant Marine vs. Muhlenberg
March 20, 2004
The Game Story:
Lacrosse Drops Overtime Heartbreaker To Muhlenberg, 8-7

KINGS POINT, N.Y. - Muhlenberg College freshman John Kushay scored his team's lone man-up goal 17 seconds into overtime Saturday afternoon at Capt. Tomb Field, as the visiting Mules (3-1) stole an 8-7 decision in the extra session of an evenly played contest against the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

The Mules, who are now 3-0 in overtime in their second year of existence, were unsuccessful on their first five extra-man opportunities of the afternoon. However, Muhlenberg received good fortune when Kings Point (3-3, three-game losing skid) was called for a slashing penalty with four seconds remaining in regulation. The penalty carried over to the extra frame, and Kushay took a feed from Justin Hollander (goal, two assists) about 10 yards from goal to USMMA keeper John Pagano's left. His bounce shot was initially stopped by Pagano (West Islip, N.Y./St. Anthony's), but barely trickled into the net off his inside foot.

Neither team led by more than two goals in the contest, as there were six ties and six lead changes in the contest. Muhlenberg went up 4-2 with 10:18 left in the first half after scoring three unanswered goals, before Mariners freshman attack Sean Dougherty (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) netted his team-best 13th goal of the year with 12 seconds to go before the break to cut the Mules' lead in half.

Two-straight man-up goals by Kings Point (3-for-9 EMO) in the third period, one by junior Dan Gately (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) with 7:47 left and the latter by Dougherty (14th of 2004) with 3:43 left, gave the Mariners a 6-5 lead. Just before the period expired, though, Muhlenberg's James Robinson (goal, assist) ripped the rope with 0.9 seconds remaining to knot the game at six goals apiece.

Cliff Burwell convered a Kushay feed with 7:45 to go in regulation to give his team a 7-6 lead, only for the Mules to see KP's Tony Buleza (Fr. - Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) fire home a man-up goal from Dougherty with 4:22 to go, essentially sending the game to overtime.

Both defenses and goaltenders played exceptionally throughout the contest, as the two netminders combined to make 29 saves; the Mules' Gavin Crescenzo stopped 14 Mariners shots, while Pagano turned aside 15 shots, including seven crucial stops (many of the spectacular variety) in the fourth period.

Head coach Tom Gill's Mariners will open up Knickerbocker Lacrosse Conference play Friday night (March 26) at 7 p.m., when SUNY Maritime travels across the Throgs Neck Bridge for a face-off at Capt. Tomb Field.