Radnor, PA - The Gettysburg Bullets topped an upstart Cabrini Cavaliers squad, but needed overtime to do so. Amidst a steady, at times heavy, rain, a lackluster performance by Gettysburg proved to be just enough to get past previously undefeated Cabrini. Attackman Joe Brody led Gettysburg offensively with three goals and an assist, while midfielder Jared Harriman notched three goals. Cabrini had three point performances from sophomore attackmen Rich Romanelli (3g) and Casey Grugan (2g, 1a).
The home team got started with a 2-0 lead on goals from Pat Jenkins and Matt Conaway. Gettysburg answered with two of their own from Joe Brody and Zach Pucci, both coming in the last 1:08 of first quarter.
Matt McKinney gave Cabrini the lead once again in the first minute of the second quarter. A few minutes later given a man-up opportunity, Gettysburg banged the ball around and eventually Jared Harriman ripped in one of his three goals of the day to tie the game at three. On the next Cabrini possession, the Gettysburg defense made a nice pickoff on a skip pass. A longpole carried over the midfield, but was stripped. The Bullets came up with the ball, worked it through X and tried to feed the middle right away. The pass was overthrown and Cabrini made them pay. Rich Romanelli finished the transition opportunity and gave Cabrini the 4-3 lead, which would prove to be their final lead of the day with 7:44 to play in the second quarter. With 7:01 left, Cabrini had a goal waved off on their next possession as the shooter wound up in the crease. On the ensuing possession, Gettysburg’s Tom O’Donnell drove and drew a slide. Joe Brody popped into the open space as his man slid. O’Donnell found him and Brody put it into the back of the next with a high-to-high tying the game at four.
Both defenses tightened up as the rain kept coming down to end the first half. Finally Ben Sufrin possessed the ball below the GLE for Gettysburg and fed inside to Brody. Brody put a quickstick in with just :07.2 left in the half and wound up close to being in the crease. It seemed eerily similar to Cabrini’s goal at the 7:01 mark that had been waved off. Cabrini’s coaching staff let their disapproval with the call to be heard. On the next faceoff, Gettysburg jumped, giving Cabrini a fastbreak with 7.2 seconds left. Cabrini pushed it right away to Casey Grugan. Grugan caught it and looked like he was going to try to dodge to his right. He pulled it back down to his left and fired a lefty bounce shot that crossed the goal-line with just .1 seconds left in the half. The last second goal sent the game tied at five into the half.
Jared Harriman put Gettysburg back on top at the 10:22 mark, only to have Rich Romanelli knot the game with his second goal of the day :18 later. Given another man-up opportunity, Gettysburg took advantage as Ben Sufrin fed inside to Rob Triplett who put the righty finish in for the 7-6 lead. Cabrini would knot it up just over a minute and a half later on a broken play. Cabrini drove from behind and tried to feed inside but overthrew the pass. Romanelli came up with the looseball and ripped a sidearm shot in to knot it once again. Another man-up goal came from Harriman on a high-to-high shot with :45 left on the clock in the third giving Gettysburg the 8-7. Cabrini made a nice defensive stop only to have their clear attempt picked off by Harriman who ripped a shot off the pipe.
To start the fourth quarter, Mike Dolente won the faceoff and pushed it forward to Casey Grugan giving them the tying goal just seven seconds into the fourth. This would prove to be the last goal to be scored in regulation as both defense stepped up in the final period. Cabrini had quite a few opportunities in the fourth, generating their most shots with 10 in the period, but Gettysburg goalie Zachary Furshman stepped up with four of his seven saves in the period. Furshman came into the game at halftime after Charlie Floeckher started the game in goal for Gettysburg and made three saves while giving up five goals in the first half.
Cabrini had probably their best opportunity when they forced a turnover with about four minutes to go in the game. The ball was on the ground near the midfield but they came back up with it. They found their leading scorer, junior Scott Reimer on the transition with a good look at the cage from close range. Furshman came up with the save and pushed it back to the offensive end.
As was the case for most of the day, Cabrini played with an intensity and sense of urgency that Gettysburg seemed to lack. This was evident late as a wide Gettysburg shot became a Cabrini possession because senior captain Dan DeRosa and goalie Kevin Chenoweth beat Gettysburg to where the ball went out. They weren’t able to capitalize on the offensive opportunity and Gettysburg would get the ball back and proceed to control it for about the last two minutes of the game. So far successful in stopping them, Cabrini called a timeout with 1:29 left on their defensive side to regroup. Gettysburg couldn’t get the looks they wanted, so they responded with a timeout of their own with 48.1 seconds left in the game tied 8-8. The Bullets got a decent look by Harriman with about nine seconds left that went wide. Off the whistle, they got another look, but Chenoweth came up with the save with just over four seconds left and the clock ran out on regulation.
To start the extra period, Mike Dolente won the faceoff forward for Cabrini but bobbled the ball. Cabrini managed to come up with the groundball and worked it down to the attack. Casey Grugan started to carry it behind, but Gettysburg’s Andrew McGann landed a check that knocked the ball out. As Grugan regained possession, Cabrini quickly called a timeout. Off the timeout, they worked it behind to B.J. Kletchek who drove to the left against a shortstick. The Gettysburg defense tightened and forced the ball on the ground. LSM Tommy Kehoe came up with the groundball and started to carry it upfield. Cabrini’s attack rode like crazy and Matt Conaway made a textbook check on the few inches of shaft exposed below Kehoe’s glove. Conaway knocked the ball loose along the sideline and Cabrini fought and got the ball back. They worked it around and attempted to feed inside. They weren’t able to connect and Gettysburg got the ball down to their offensive side and called a timeout with two minutes remaining in sudden death.
Cabrini managed to pressure out and put the ball on the ground a couple of times, but Gettysburg managed to regain possession each time, once on a longpole throwing it out of bounds. Gettysburg’s Tom O’Donnell possessed the ball for awhile trying to create a shot. He drove down the right side and wasn’t able to get anything. He passed it off and wound up getting the ball back again on the opposite side. This time he drove down the side and with a little hesitation or confusion on Cabrini’s part, he found a little bit of space. He tucked it under and brought it back to his right hand and squeezed the ball past Chenoweth for the winner with :32 left on the clock.
This was a solid win for the Gettysburg team as Cabrini proved they are legit. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it was pretty. Offensively, Gettysburg seemed to struggle against Cabrini’s defense. They were able to put the ball on the ground quite often. Two of Gettysburg’s question marks heading into the season still seem to remain unanswered as they are rotating two goalies and were only able to win 8-of-20 on faceoffs today. In front of the goalie, the defense looked solid as can be expected from a Gettysburg defense. Credit the Bullets for taking their opportunities as they came. They scored four of their nine goals in the final minute of a period, with a fifth coming with 1:08 left in the first. Many coaches will tell you, goals like this can kill a team’s momentum. Gettysburg also had at least two pipes in the game, which had they fallen could have given them a bit of life at key opportunities. With the win, Gettysburg moves to 6-0 as they prepare to open Centennial Conference play on Saturday against Muhlenberg.
The Cabrini Cavaliers were impressive in the losing effort. There has been a lot of talk about the “blue-collar mentality”, to the point that it can be a cliché. It was exciting to see a team that prided itself on the little things, like riding and groundballs such as Cabrini does and to see that clichés can sometimes be true. Cabrini’s defense looked especially strong as they were able to keep Gettysburg to under ten. Take away the final minute of each quarter and Cabrini wins 7-5. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic and they’re still on the losing end of a 9-8 game. If they can play an entire game and not give up those last minute goals, this can be a team to reckon with in May. As it stands, they were handed the first loss of the season moving to 4-1. They head over to Widener on Saturday for a rivalry game against their struggling neighbor.
|Rich Romanelli||(3, 0)|
|Casey Grugan||(2, 1)|
|Matt Mckinney||(1, 0)|
|Pat Jenkins||(1, 0)|
|Bj Kletcheck||(0, 1)|
|Mike Dolente||(0, 1)|
|Matt Conaway||(1, 0)|
|Kevin Chenoweth||8 (0.471)|