PLATTSBURGH — The nationally ranked No. 20 Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team rallied on three occasions before taking control of the game late in the first half en route to a 15-9 win against Potsdam in a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) contest Wednesday night at the Field House Turf Complex.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 12-3 on the year and 4-1 in the SUNYAC, setting a new record for single-season wins. The previous mark of 11 was set during the 2010 and 2012 seasons.
The combination of a Geneseo loss earlier in the day and the Plattsburgh State win also ensured another program first as the Cardinals clinched the No. 2 seed in the SUNYAC Tournament, securing the first home playoff game in program history.
Potsdam quickly silenced the home crowd with two quick goals by Pat Morrill and Pat Bonafede to take an early first-quarter lead. The Cardinals responded with the next two from Brendan Damm and Brett McClelland to even the score at 2-2 after the first 15 minutes.
The Bears (6-6, 2-3 SUNYAC) regained the lead at the 12:10 mark of the second on Jeff Seager’s ninth of the year from Rob Kunz, but Plattsburgh State’s Tim Lawrence tied it up again at 11:04 with a man-up goal from Brett McClelland.
Twelve seconds later, Potsdam went out in front again on a goal by Kunz before Plattsburgh State’s Joey Kramer made it a 4-4 game with an unassisted effort at the 8:33 mark.
The Cardinals tallied the next two as Anthony Pafundi scored on an extra-man opportunity and Nick Travers scored his first of the evening, giving Plattsburgh State a 6-4 lead at the half.
Kramer opened the second half with his second of the game before Lawrence struck again to give the Cardinals a four-goal lead. Potsdam’s Matt Kennedy scored at the 9:05 mark of the third to bring the Bears within three, but goals by Tom Duggan and Travers stretched Plattsburgh State’s advantage to 10-5 with less than three minutes left in the quarter.
Kyle Nicholas and Jared Flath found the back of the net late in the third for the Bears, cutting the Cardinals’ lead to three but Plattsburgh State got the next four to take a 14-7 lead.
Flath and Nicholas accounted for the last two Potsdam goals late in the fourth while Lawrence completed his hat trick for the Cardinals with 44 seconds left.
Lawrence led the Cardinals offense with three goals and two assists. Travers also tallied a hat trick and picked up a game-high 13 ground balls. McClelland added two goals and an assist and Duggan contributed a goal and two helpers while Damm and Kramer each scored twice. Defensively, Mike Lind caused two turnovers.
The Bears were led by Flath with two goals, two assists and five ground balls. Nicholas also finished with a pair of goals while Kunz and Seager each added two points.
The Cardinals held the edge in shots, 46-35, and ground balls, 33-20. Plattsburgh State went 2-4 on extra-man opportunities, while Potsdam failed to convert on seven chances.
Plattsburgh State’s Gordie Gehring improved to 11-3 on the year, matching his career-high in victories. Gehring made 12 saves in the win. Potsdam’s Stefan Sloma allowed 13 goals and recorded 16 saves in the loss. Ryan Duffy took over in net for the Bears for the final 7:04, making two saves on four shots on goal.
The Cardinals wrap up the regular season on Saturday, hosting Geneseo on Senior Day Saturday afternoon. The SUNYAC matchup is set for 1 p.m. at the Field House Lacrosse Complex with the recognition of the 2013 senior class to take place in a pregame ceremony.
Plattsburgh 15, Potsdam 9
Potsdam 2 2 3 2 — 9
Plattsburgh 2 4 4 5 — 15
Potsdam scoring: Jared Flath, 2 goals, 2 assists; Kyle Nicholas, 2 goals; Pat Morrill, 1 goal; Rob Kunz, 1 goal, 1 assist; Pat Bonafede, 1 goal; Matt Kennedy, 1 goal; Jeff Seager, 1 goal, 1 assist; Kevin Logan, 1 assist.
Plattsburgh scoring: Tim Lawrence, 3 goals, 2 assists; Nick Travers, 3 goals; Brendan Damm, 2 goals; Joey Kramer, 2 goals; Brett McClelland, 2 goals, 1 assist; James Read, 1 goal; Tom Duggan, 1 goal, 2 assists; Anthony Pafundi, 1 goal.
Shots: Plattsburgh 46, Potsdam 35.
Goalie saves: Stefan Sloma (16), Ryan Duffy (2), Potsdam, 18. Gordie Gehring, PSU, 12.