UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica College men's lacrosse team outscored Empire 8 Conference rival Hartwick College 14-5 in the final 45 minutes of action on its way to a convincing 15-5 victory over the Hawks on the turf at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium Wednesday afternoon. Trent Thomas, Ben Winkler and Joe Schoen each registered five points on three goals and two assists for the Pioneers, while senior goalie Wilson Mukrdechian stopped 11 shots and picked up five ground balls in net for UC.
The Pioneers, who snapped a ten game conference losing streak, improved to 6-4 overall and 1-1 in the E8. The Hawks have now lost two in a row, and they also snapped a two game winning streak against Utica, as their record moved to 4-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play. Junior Bobby Cassidy led the way for the Hawks with two goals.
Utica outscored Hartwick 5-1 in the second quarter, and continued its strong fourth quarter play, closing the game out on a 7-2 tear in the final 15 minutes to seal the ten goal victory.
Senior captain Mick Krajacic caused seven turnovers and scooped up a game-high seven ground balls for the Pioneer defense, while senior Oliver Barney went 10-for-16 on face-off opportunities to help UC maintain possession throughout the contest.
Utica jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first quarter, and began to pour it on in the first 4:40 of the second quarter by netting three goals, to give the Pioneers a 4-0 lead. Four different Pioneers' scored the first four goals of the game, including Thomas, Winkler, Greg Geiss and Scott Baron
Hartwick's first goal of the contest cut the UC lead to 4-1 when Phil Schaefer netted his 17th goal of the season at the 7:02 mark. UC answered back when it scored two goals in a span of 19 seconds to give the home team a 6-1 advantage at the half.
Both teams netted two third quarter goals and UC was able to manage an 8-3 lead headed into the final 15 minutes of play. Schoen tallied both of the Pioneers' third quarter goals, unassisted.
The most offensive action of the contest came in the final 15 minutes. Thomas and Winkler opened the fourth quarter scoring, to put UC on top 10-3, but the Hawks would not go down easy, as they netted two of the game's next three goals to cut their deficit to 11-5 with 7:14 left in regulation.
Utica closed the game out with four unanswered tallies to seal the victory. Schoen, Justin Edelstein, Thomas and freshman Brian Gable scored the final four goals for Utica. The goal for Gable was the first of his young career, assisted by sophomore Joe Scully Hartwick goalie Nick Triano stopped nine shots in net before having to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a lower body injury. Carl Lengel came on and made two saves in relief for 'Wick. Utica sophomore defender Dan Duffy picked up four ground balls, caused two turnovers and added his first goal of the year, while David Craig added one assist and two caused turnovers. Scully also tallied a second quarter goal for the Pioneers.
Hartwick's Brandon Murtha picked up five ground balls and caused four turnovers as Connor Hudson won eight face-offs and picked up five ground balls.
The Pioneers return to action for game two of their three game conference home stand on Saturday afternoon when they take on Alfred University at 1 p.m. The Hawks will head back to the friendly confines of Wright Stadium on Saturday where they will host Elmira College at 12 p.m.