February 21, 2012

CUA drops 15-12 decision at Hampden-Sydney

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. – CUA suffered its first loss of the 2012 season on Tuesday, falling to Hampden-Sydney 15-12.  The Cardinals pulled to within 12-10 with 9:18 remaining, but three straight scores by the Tigers proved to be too much to overcome for CUA.

Unlike in its season opener, CUA scored early in this one, taking a 1-0 lead on Sean Cummins' goal just 55 seconds into the game.  That wound up being the Cardinals final goal of the first quarter though, and Hampden-Sydney reeled off five straight to take a 5-1 lead with 5:41 remaining in the second quarter.

The Cardinals finished the first half with a run of their own, scoring three goals in less than two minutes to pull within 5-4 with 2:13 on the clock.  Marc Saxton, Cummins and Brian Keith all found the back of the net for CUA during the run.

Ryan Martin closed the half with another Tigers goal though, sending the teams into halftime with CUA trailing 6-4.

Martin struck again, only ten seconds into the second half, to give the home team a 7-4 lead, but Chris Fuccillo answered just eight seconds later to again make it a two-goal affair.

Following a Tigers goal at the 9:22 mark, Brendan Englert got into the scoring act for CUA, to pull the Cardinals to within 8-6 with 5:16 left in the third.

Saxton then followed with his second score of the afternoon, and CUA was within one, 8-7.

Back-to-back goals by Hampden-Sydney put the Cardinals in a three-goal hole, but Englert struck for his second score with only 54 seconds on the clock, to send the teams into the final quarter with CUA down two, 10-8.

Micah Keller's goal at the 11:47 mark of the final quarter put the Tigers in front by three, but Keith netted his second score of the day a little over a minute later to once again make it a two-goal spread.

Keller scored his second goal of the quarter at the 10:10 mark but was answered by a Fuccillo goal 52 seconds later to keep the margin at two.

From there, Hampden-Sydney responded with three straight goals, including one by Ben Clarke with 4:54 to play, which put the home team in front 15-10.

CUA never let up though, getting a goal from Cummins at the 2:14 mark and another from Englert less than a minute later to make it a three-goal spread.

The Cardinals won the ensuing face-off and had a chance to cut into the lead even further, but CUA was whistled for a penalty with 58 seconds remaining, ending any hope of a comeback.

The two teams were nearly identical in shots, with Hampden-Sydney holding a 41-39 advantage.  CUA finished with 31 ground balls and was also 3 of 7 on extra-man opportunities.  Both teams were 15 of 30 on face-offs, with Tom Scotto winning 14 of 27 for the Cardinals.

Scotto also led the Cardinals in ground balls with six, while Patrick Pfaff scooped up five and stopped 13 shots in goal.  Englert and Cummins finished with three goals apiece to lead CUA, while Saxton, Keith, and Fuccillo all found the back of the net twice.  Will Horne, Keith and Saxton tallied assists on the day.

The Cardinals close out their season opening three-game road trip on Saturday, when CUA heads to Frostburg State.  The opening face-off is set for 2 p.m.

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