March 16, 2013

Hartford Spoils Another Gem by Bobcats' Conners

from press release

HAMDEN, Conn. – Junior goalie Gill Conners (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) recorded his second 20-save game of the season on Saturday afternoon, but it was not enough as the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team suffered an 11-10 loss to instate rival Hartford at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field on Mount Carmel Campus.

The loss drops the Bobcats to 3-2 on the year, now enduring back-to-back one-goal losses after a 12-11 decision against Providence on Tuesday. On the other side, Hartford has now won two straight after surrendering three losses to open the season to improve to 2-3.

"I told the guys after the loss on Tuesday, in order to win close games you need to execute, you need poise and you need confidence," said head coach Eric Fekete. "Today we lacked some poise and we didn't execute, and this outcome is what you're going to get. That's a good team, and whether you lose by one or 10, it doesn't really matter. We went from 3-0 to 3-2, and we play again on Tuesday. We have to pick up our game."

Conners was spectacular for the Bobcats, turning aside 20 of Hartford's 31 shots on goal. He stopped five shots in each of the first and second quarters, collected three in the third and finished with seven in the final 15 minutes of play. He also added eight groundballs.

Offensively, Quinnipiac featured a balanced attack that saw 10 players with at least one point on the afternoon. Basil Kostaras(Southlake, Texas) finished with three points on the strength of two goals and an assist while picking up a groundball and causing two turnovers. Brendan Wilbur (Hingham, Mass.) extended his point-streak to 13 straight games with a goal and two assists, while Matt Diehl (Towson, Md.), Jake Emms (Victoria, B.C.) and Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.) each added a goal and an assist.

Evenly matched throughout the entire game, neither team saw a lead of more than two goals in the contest. Hartford controlled the better of the play early on – taking a 5-3 lead with 11:08 left in the second quarter - but Quinnipiac answered with two straight goals to close the first half scoring summary. Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario) scored the team's fourth goal of the game, and Jay Binkowski (Bethany, Conn.) followed with another to create a 5-5 deadlock at halftime.

After the break, Quinnipiac quickly broke the stalemate with a tally from Kostaras just three minutes into the third quarter. The teams went back-and-forth into the fourth quarter, when Hartford managed to create some separation between the two teams. With the score knotted up a nine apiece, Rory Nunamacher granted the Hawks a 10-9 lead, which was followed by some breathing room with a tally from Austin Gorman. Gorman's goal came with 5:08 showing on the clock, completing the hat trick for the sophomore attackman.

Quinnipiac got one back with 2:43 left in regulation off the stick of Wilbur; however was unable to find the equalizer in the waning minutes. The Bobcats last possession came with 30 seconds left, but saw two shots sail wide of the target allowing Hartford to escape with the one-goal triumph.

Two key statistics for the game proved to be turnovers and the results in the circle. Quinnipiac committed 19 turnovers and surrendered a 15-10 edge on the faceoff. Hartford also tallied a 48-37 advantage in shots and a 31-18 edge in shots on goal.

Hartford, now winners in its last four straight against the Bobcats, was led by Gorman and Jack Bobzien who each finished with four points apiece. Kevin O'Shea added a goal and two assists and Brad Hutton had a goal and an assist.

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