Mercyhurst University Refuses to Die in Holding Off Iona College, 12-11 OT SD, to Reach 2013 Collegiate Water Polo Association Championship Ninth Place Game
BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- Garret Schoeman (Sr., Riverside, Calif./Arlington) tallied his only goal of the match when it mattered most in finishing a six-on-five chance with 1:49 left in the first sudden death overtime period to give Mercyhurst University a 12-11 victory in overtime against Iona College. The win advances the Lakers to a 10:20 a.m. clash with Division III No. 2-ranked Johns Hopkins University on Sunday, November 24, for ninth place in the 12-team tournament.
Leading 6-3 at halftime, the Lakers (19-7) tacked on another score to start the second half as Svorcan registered his fourth goal of the game with 7:18 left in the period to push the margin to 7-3.
The lead quickly evaporated over the next five minutes as Sean Davis (Sr., Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) found the back of the cage at 6:15 and Jake Lloyd (Jr., Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson) netted a man-up tally at 5:34 to slice move the Gaels (7-26) within 7-5.
James Ramaley (Jr., Old Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) and Lloyd completed Iona's 4-0 run with back-to-back natural markers at 4:42 and 2:48, respectively, to knot the game at 7-7.
Mercyhurst went back in front at
8-7 with a tally by Rob Clinger (Fr., Pittsburgh, Pa./North
Allegheny), but Iona responded in kind with a rising shot
from the hand of Matthew Stelnicki (Sr., Chicago,
Ill./Brother Rice) to rebalance the scoreboard at
eight-all with 1:39 remaining in the third quarter.
The teams traded scoring blows in the dawning moments of the fourth quarter as Samuel Lopez (Jr., Chicago, Ill./Curie) zipped in a shot at 6:26 to return the Lakers to the lead at 9-8, Lloyd struck again at 6:13 to retie the game and Isaac Ogloblin (Sr., Madrid, Spain/I.E.S. Cervantes) slipped free for a laser with six minutes to play in regulation to make it 10-9 in favor of the Lakers.
Both teams locked down on defense to keep the other squads' offense at bay for the next five and a half minutes until Ian Thompson (Jr., Lansdale, Pa./La Salle College) launched a "Hail Mary" lob over the head of Mercyhurst goalie Matt Cote (Sr., Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) that tipped off the hand of Ogloblin and into the back of the cage for the equalizer with 25 seconds remaining in the final quarter of regulation.
In the first of two three-minute overtime periods, Iona acquired its first and only lead of the game as Lloyd lifted a shot past Cote with 2:25 on the clock to make it 11-10 in favor of the Gaels. However, the Lakers countered with 52 seconds left in the frame as Brett Luehmann (Sr., Ancaster, Ontario/Ancaster) found a crack in the Iona defense for a strike to make it 11-all entering the second OT period.
Following a scoreless second OT period to bring on sudden death/victory, the Lakers received an early break as Iona went a man down with 2:00 left on the clock. Schoeman cashed in on the opportunity 11 seconds into the 20-second ejection period to put away the "golden goal" on a crossing shot and advance the Lakers to ninth place contest.
The game was a matter of Mercyhurst dominating the first half, while Iona took command of the second half prior to Schoeman's heroics in overtime.
The Lakers jumped on the scoreboard just 63 seconds into the game as Svorcan notched a strike with 6:57 left on the period clock. He cushioned the margin to 2-0 prior to the end of the quarter by putting in a six-on-five chance with 39 seconds to go as the Lakers held Iona to three shots on cage in the first eight minutes of action.
Iona sliced the lead down to one with 5:45 to go until halftime via a volley from Bryan Driscoll (Sr., Tustin, Calif./Foothill), but the Lakers swamped Gaels' goalie Stefen Hill (Sr., Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin) with natural scores from Svorcan (4:30), Ogloblin (3:59) and Travis Byrnes (Fr., Jenison, Mich./Jenison) (3:12) to turn the tides on Iona and make it 5-1.
Luehmann added to the lead nearly a minute after Byrnes' score by cashing in on a six-on-five chance to make it 6-1, but Stelnicki (1:44) and Ramaley (1:14) drew blood with back-to-back tallies in the closing minutes of the half to move the Gaels back to within striking distance and set the stage for the second half.
For the Lakers, Svorcan led the way with four goals, while Luehmann and Ogloblin each tacked on pairs. Schoeman, Clinger, Lopez and Byrnes accounted for Mercyhurst's remaining four tallies.
Across the tank, Lloyd tied with Svorcan for the game-high with four goals, while Stelnicki and Ramaley each accounted for two scores. Davis, Driscoll and Thompson put in solo markers to round out the scoring.
In cage, Cote stopped six shots to claim the win, while Hill stopped 11 shots for the Gaels in registering the hard-luck loss.
Iona will conclude the tournament at 9:00 a.m. against Fordham University at 9:00 a..m. on November 24 in the 11th place game. It will mark the fourth meeting of the year between the two Northern Division foes as the Gaels hold a 2-1 advantage in the season series (11-10 L, 10-8 W, 12-11 W OT).
Danilo Svorcan (4); Brett Luehmann (2); Isaac Ogloblin (2); Garret
Schoeman; Rob Clinger; Samuel Lopez; Travis Byrnes
Iona Goals: Jake
Lloyd (4); Matthew Stelnicki (2); James Ramaley (2); Sean Davis;
Bryan Driscoll; Ian Thompson
Saves: Mercyhurst - Matt Cote (6) ; Iona - Stefen Hill (11)
Exclusions: Mercyhurst - 5 ; Iona - 9
Advantage Opportunities: Mercyhurst - 3-for-9 ; Iona - 2-for-5
Sprints: Mercyhurst - 2-for-7 (2nd, 7th) ; Iona - 5-for-7 (1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th)
Cards: YC - Iona (Lee Stiles, 39 secs. left in 1st), Iona (Head Coach Brian Kelly, 1:52 left in 2nd)
Officials: Hadi Farid, Josh Kratz
Iona College goalie Stefen Hill prepares to stop a shot by Mercyhurst University's Garret Schoeman