MARCY, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Men's Lacrosse Team (0-4, 0-0 NEAC) suffered a gut-punch loss Wednesday night, falling to the Raptors of Bard College (3-0) despite taking a lead in the 4th quarter. The Wildcats scored three-straight in the last period to take a 7-6 lead, only to watch the Raptors respond in kind with a 3-0 run to end the game.
SUNYIT scored the first goal of the game on a Jon Eguren (Vittoria, Spain / Cicero-North Syracuse) strike not even two minutes into the game. Eguren finished with a team-high 3 scores, and benefited on the opening goal from an assist by Brett Gifford (Cazenovia, N.Y. / Cazenovia). Gifford would go on to lead all players with 3 assists, while playing his usual stingy defense to lead SUNYIT in caused turnovers (5).
Tied 1-1 to start the second period, SUNYIT seemed poised to make a run after scoring two lightning fast goals, the first by Eguren and the second by Denver Babowicz (Marcy, N.Y. / Holland Patent). The two goals both happened less than 45 seconds into the period. Almost as fast as the Wildcats had taken the momentum, however, the Raptors were able to stem the tide with a Henry Blosfelds goal less than a minute later. SUNYIT would take advantage of a man-up situation later in the period to again stretch their lead to two, but again Blosfelds answered with an unassisted goal just before halftime (00:50 in the 2nd), to pull the Raptors within one, 4-3. Whether or not it had any effect on the outcome, it's worth noting that the Raptors were the last to score in each period.
After a surprising third period in which the visitors hung 3 goals on the Wildcats to take a 6-4, lead, SUNYIT senior and team co-captain Tyler Serva (Chenango Forks, N.Y. / Chenango Forks High School) essentially put the team on his back in the fourth period. Serva had a monster game all-around, grabbing a whopping 14 groundballs to go along with 2 scores and a dominant 14-for-20 performance on faceoffs. Serva was best when the team needed it most, scoring both of his goals in the final period: his first goal was also SUNYIT's first goal of the second half, coming with 11:17 to go in the 4th and pulling the Wildcats within one, down 6-5, and his second put SUNYIT back on top, up 7-6 with 6:49 to play. Perhaps even more impressive than his timely scoring, however, was the fact that Serva went a perfect 7-for-7 on faceoffs in the quarter.
Unfortunately for the home team, Serva's heroics were not enough. The Raptors answered with a Matt Livermore goal to tie the game with 4:19 to play, then took the lead on another strike by Blosfelds. Blosfelds finished the game with 4 scores to lead all players, his final goal coming with 2:32 left in the game.
The difference in the game very well might have been a singularly great performance by Bard goalie John Henry Glasscock. SUNYIT tallied more shots, won more faceoffs, picked up more groundballs, had fewer turnovers, and was better on clears than Bard, but the Raptor keeper turned away 20 of the 27 shots he faced, frustrating the SUNYIT offense all night long.
For their next game, the Wildcats will leave the Mohawk Valley for the first time this season, heading to SUNY Maritime for a 4:00 pm match up on Saturday.