BROOKVILLE, N.Y. (May 6, 2017) – Despite a team-high four points on three goals and an assist from graduate student Kevin McNally (Hillburn, N.Y./SUNY Albany), the No. 2 seeded Mercy College men's lacrosse team dropped a hard-fought 9-8 overtime decision to No. 1 seeded NYIT in the ECC Championship Game on Saturday afternoon at Bethpage Stadium.
The Mavericks (12-5) end their season with a school-record 12 wins and the program's first-ever appearance in the ECC Championship Game, while the Bears (14-3) will also look for a potential NCAA Tournament berth.
Also contributing for Mercy was junior Chris Martinez (Uniondale, N.Y./Nassau CC) who scored two goals, while sophomore Bobby Chillianis (Bethpage, N.Y./Bethpage), freshman Tommy McPartland (Farmingdale, N.Y./Farmingdale) and senior Nick Wilcox (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) added goals. Sophomore Ryan MacSpadyen (Toronto, Ontario/Seneca College) netted an assist and sophomore Nick Sehring (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) had a team-high-tying three ground balls and went 4-of-10 on faceoffs. Freshman Antonio Rey (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) went 7-of-10 on faceoffs and sophomore Ryan Gibbons (Seaford, N.Y./Dowling College) made nine saves in taking the loss.
NYIT was led by Tom Hughes who had a game-high five goals, while Alex Seltzer made 11 saves to earn the win.
Mercy looked to earn the program's first-ever ECC Championship in front of a large Mercy contingent at the neutral site. However, the Bears opened the scoring with a goal at the 8:44 mark of the opening quarter to take a 1-0 lead. The Mavericks quickly answered though as Chillianis scored a man-up goal to tie the game up at 1-1 just under two minutes later.
Mercy took their first lead of the game with back-to-back goals from McPartland and McNally that gave the Mavericks a 3-1 lead after one quarter of play. NYIT began the second quarter with a pair of man-up goals to even the score at 3-3 with 6:37 remaining in the half.
The Mavericks regrouped and finished off the half with two straight goals as Wilcox and McNally found the back of the net to give Mercy a 5-3 halftime lead.
McNally opened the third quarter with his third goal of the game to give the Mavericks a 6-3 lead just over a minute in. Mercy looked to be pulling away, but the Bears got back within striking distance with two consecutive goals to cut the Mavericks lead to one, 6-5, with 8:02 left in the quarter. Martinez ended the scoring in the period with his first of the day to put Mercy ahead 7-5 entering the final stanza.
The two teams traded goals to begin the fourth quarter, giving the Mavericks an 8-6 lead with 5:52 remaining. NYIT battled back and scored two more unanswered goals to even the score up at 8-8 at the 4:19 mark. Both teams would have chances to take the lead in regulation but neither team could score in the final 4:19 so the game went to overtime.
The extra period saw the Bears win the faceoff but the Mavericks defense held and gave Mercy a chance to win on their possession. A Wilcox shot would be stopped by Seltzer with 1:22 left in the period, leading to an NYIT clear. After three shots by the Bears, Hughes would end the game with 20 seconds left in the overtime period to give NYIT the win.
Mercy held a 39-33 edge in shots, a 24-23 edge in ground balls and went 11-of-20 on faceoffs.