The SUNY Potsdam men's lacrosse team would simply not go away.
Through six ties and three lead changes, the Bears dug deep and earned their first victory over Plattsburgh in nearly four years with an 8-7 triumph at Maxcy Turf Field for a key SUNYAC conference win on Wednesday night.
It was the first time that the Potsdam men's lacrosse team had defeated Plattsburgh since April 28, 2010.
Senior goalie Ryan Duffy (Liverpool, N.Y. / Liverpool) set a new career-high with 19 saves, and the team got a lift on offense by a trio of underclassmen in the fourth quarter to complete the rally.
Trailing 6-5 entering the final quarter, Potsdam (7-3 overall, 1-1 SUNYAC) tied it at 6-6 when sophomore attacker Ed Doherty (Amherst, N.Y. / Amherst) launched a shot into the net from Kunz with 12:35 left.
Kennedy spun and struck to give the Bears a 7-6 lead with 7:29 remaining and Stone flung it through the back end for a two-goal cushion with 6:23.
Cardinals' senior attacker Tim Lawrence cut the deficit to 8-7 with 3:16 left for Plattsburgh (8-4 overall, 1-2 SUNYAC).
After a Plattsburgh turnover, senior midfielder Matt Donovan (Oswego, N.Y. / Oswego) picked up the groundball and Lawrence was called for a 30-second penalty for a push with 1:03 left.
From there, the Bears drained out the remainder of the clock and the bench rushed out near goal to celebrate with Duffy.
"Plattsburgh has a great team and I think our kids raised their level of play with a their defensive effort tonight," said Potsdam coach Rick Berkman.
"[Ryan] Duffy has been playing great all season for us. [Ryan] McConnell, [Kyle] Hauk, and [Matt] Donovan did a great job. I thought their number one [Tim Lawrence] and number nine [Brendan Damm) players were tough and guys like Jeff Love did a nice job of controlling them."
Kennedy and Stone had two goals apiece, Kunz had a goal and three assists, and senior Jeff Love (Watertown, N.Y. / IHC), senior Ryan McConnell (Syracuse, N.Y. / West Genesee), sophomore Kyle Hauk (Sackets Harbor, N.Y. / IHC) and Donovan harassed Plattsburgh defenders all evening whenever a Cardinals player would approach the area of the goal crease.
The game was nip and tuck from the onset as the teams traded goals and exchanged leads.
"I have to thank our defense," Duffy said. "They were unbelievable. This was what we were looking to do as a team. Our coaches definitely prepared us this week. Our starting defense has been playing lock down all season. I can't say enough about those guys. And, the offense stepped up big time."
Lawrence scored unassisted to strike first for the Cardinals.
Duffy made a tough save from Damm from point blank range and then partially stuffed a shot by Jack Felter.
Despite a 45-19 shots advantage by Plattsburgh, Duffy demonstrated why he has been a three-time SUNYAC Goalie of the Week on three occasions this season.
Potsdam cashed in on a man up advantage with sophomore midfielder Pat Bonafede scoring on an assist from Kunz at 6:18 remaining in the first quarter.
Damm gave Plattsburgh a 2-1 lead at 3:14. But, Kunz rifled a straightaway goal from about 10 yards away to knot it at 2-2.
Andrew Tralongo was able to pick up a loose groundball and took it about three quarters of the way back down the field before dishing off to Felter for the score to make it 3-2 in the closing seconds before the end of the first quarter.
Duffy faced 17 shots in the first quarter and recorded eight saves.
Senior captain Derek Frost (Buffalo, N.Y. / Williamsville East) made a nice find to freshman Berkley Stone (Madison, Conn. / Daniel Hand), who found the top left hand corner of the goal to tie it back up at 3-3.
Sophomore Matt Kennedy (Clay, N.Y. / CNS) gave Potsdam its first lead of the game from about eight yards away on a feed from freshman Matt Moran (Watertown, N.Y. / IHC) causing Plattsburgh coach Ryan Cavanagh to call for a timeout with 9:12 left in the second quarter.
Felter tied the score at 4 and James Read reclaimed the lead back for Plattsburgh with a goal at 3:54. Cardinals held a 27-10 shots advantage at the half.
Junior midfielder Jon Woodworth (Carthage, N.Y. / Carthage) evened the score at 5 on a niffy centering feed from Kunz, who hit him in stride directly in front of the net.
The Cardinals took the lead back 6-5 on a man up situation on a score from Anthony Pafundi after a 30-second interference penalty was called on the Bears.
Potsdam will play at Brockport on Saturday at 2 p.m. in a SUNYAC game.