March 2, 2011

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Stunner: Mercy Topples No. 7 NYIT, 16-11

from press release

PURCHASE, N.Y. - The Mercy College men's lacrosse team made history on Wednesday afternoon, beating a ranked opponent for the first time, upending NYIT 16-11. NYIT is ranked #7 in the latest USLIA Division II coaches poll. Mercy is now 2-0 overall, and 1-0 in the East Coast Conference. NYIT is 0-2, and now 0-1 in the ECC. Currently, the ECC has three teams ranked in the top seven in the country. NYIT has won three national championships in the last eight years, most recently in 2008. Mercy College is a second year program, playing just the 17th game in school history today.

"I am the happiest for the players," said second-year head coach Steve Manitta. "They have bought into what we are trying to do. To beat NYIT is amazing. They are so well respected in all of lacrosse, not just Division II."

The 16 goals scored are the most in the school's brief history.

The Mavericks jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the first quarter, on goals from freshman Quadear Mike (East Syracuse, N.Y./East Syracuse Minoa) and junior Sal Spinelli (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip HS/Suffolk CC). The Bears were able to cause several Mercy turnovers on clears, and capitalized, finishing the first quarter with a flurry of three goals, punctuated by back-to-back goals from Cory Triola.

To open the second quarter, NYIT scored on a goal from Jason Smith, taking a 4-2 lead. Mercy then rattled off three consecutive goals, including an unassisted, man down goal from junior Craig Blom (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./Comsewogue/Suffolk C.C.). On that play, the NYIT penalty had just expired, but the defender was not able to rejoin the play prior to the goal being scored.

The lead was tenuous, with NYIT displaying veteran poise. In just a span of 24 seconds, goals from Joe Herman and Chris Lubin gave NYIT the lead back at 6-5 with 7:18 to go in the half.

Senior Nick Fitzgerald (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) found the back of the net with 4:46 to go with an unassisted goal, and Mercy took a 7-6 lead into the half.

The third quarter began with a man-up situation for Mercy, as NYIT took a slashing penalty as the second quarter expired. Just 27 seconds in, freshman Jesse Wood (Binghamton, N.Y./Seton Catholic) found classmate Mike Rae (Bethpage, N.Y./Bethpage) for the man-up goal. Wood was not done, as minutes later he found junior Sean Wallin (Mountain Lakes, N.J./Mountain Lakes) who followed with his only goal of the game, and Mercy led by two. Sophomore Mike Marzocca (North Babylon, N.Y./North Babylon) continued the run, scoring the first of his three second-half goals, and Mercy now led by three, 9-6.

NYIT responded with a pair of goals, including one from Ryan Amengal. It was the only goal of the game for the Preseason All-American.

Minutes later in the high-scoring affair, Mike and Spinelli scored just 29 seconds apart, followed by another Spinelli marker, and Mercy led 12-8 with 3:49 to play in the game.

NYIT rattled off two more goals in the waning minutes of the third, including Lubin's third of the day, and Mercy led 12-10.

Entering the fourth and final period, Mercy seized control of the game, and held possession. Marzocca and freshman Patrick Hodapp (Oak Ridge, N.J./Jefferson) scored early unassisted goals, to put Mercy up 14-10. But the Bears continued to push. With about 7:45 to play, NYIT had perhaps their best chance to get back in the game. In a span of about eight seconds, sophomore Maverick goalie T. J. DiCarlo (Farmingdale, N.Y./Farmingdale) made three saves from point-blank range, the third of which came as he leapt across the goal to thwart a Tyler Chin shot. For the game, DiCarlo made 14 saves, including six in the last 15 minutes.

"In the fourth quarter, I was so focused," DiCarlo would say. "You just react, that is all you have as a goalie."

Wood followed with his sole goal of the contest at the 5:54 mark. Marzocca followed, and Mercy led 16-10 with 3:47 remaining in the game. Sean Rimmer tallied one final goal for NYIT, and Mercy won 16-11.

For the game, Wood led the offense with one goal and five assists. "I was getting the ball behind (the goal), keeping my eyes up," Wood stated. "The crease guys did a great job coming to the ball, getting open, and I was able to find them with my passes."

Mike added a pair of goals and two assists, as Spinelli and Marzocca each added three goals.

Mercy returns to action on Saturday, March 5, at Chestnut Hill. The game will faceoff at 1:00 p.m.


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