POTSDAM — Not even standout goaltender Ryan Duffy could save Potsdam State this time around.
Duffy did his part, but the Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team avenged a regular season loss to the Bears with an 11-6 win in the SUNY Athletic Conference semifinals in the rain at the Maxcy Hall turf field Wednesday afternoon.
The victory sends the third-seeded Cardinals (13-5) into Saturday’s SUNYAC championship game at top-seeded Cortland. Nationally-ranked Cortland (14-3) rolled to a 15-3 win over fourth-seeded Oneonta (5-11) in the other semifinal on Wednesday.
The first time the Cardinals and Bears met this season, also in Potsdam, Plattsburgh held a commanding 45-19 shot advantage and Duffy was a major difference as he turned aside 19 shots. The Bears outscored the Cardinals, 3-1, in the fourth period for an 8-7 win.
Wednesday, Plattsburgh rolled up another one-sided 54-21 shot total, with Duffy making 19 more saves. Potsdam held a 7-6 advantage in shots in the first period, but the Cardinals outgunned the Bears by a 48-14 combined total the rest of the way.
Brendan Damm paced Plattsburgh with four goals, followed by Tim Lawrence with three and Jack Felter, two.
Tom Duggan and Anthuny Pafundi chipped in with a goal each and James Read led the way in assists with two. Andrew Hauk made four saves to get the win in net.
Rob Kunz and Matt Donovan tallied two goals apiece for the second-seeded Bears (10-6), with Kunz also collecting an assist. Ryan McConnell and Ed Doherty also scored goals.
The game, however, didn’t start out well for the Cardinals.
Damm gave Plattsburgh the lead just 1:14 into the contest, but two goals by Kunz put Potsdam in front, 2-1, after one period.
McConnell and Donovan then tallied goals in the first four minutes of the second for a 4-1 Bears’ lead.
The Cardinals finally righted the ship when Pafundi, Felter and Lawrence scored in less than a seven-minute span to pull Plattsburgh even, at 4-all, following the first half of play.