Momentum swung back and forth throughout an evenly played first half, but third-seeded Plattsburgh State was able to take an advantage on face offs and shots on goal to pick up an 11-6 victory at second-seeded SUNY Potsdam in a SUNYAC men's lacrosse semifinal on a cool, rain-soaked Wednesday afternoon at Maxcy Turf Field.
Plattsburgh (13-5) will move on to play at top-seeded SUNY Cortland (14-3) on Saturday while the Bears (10-6) will await to see if it will draw a bid into the ECAC tournament. Cortland defeated Oneonta State 15-3 in the other semifinal.
It was the first playoff meeting between the Bears and the Cardinals. Potsdam had entered leading the all-time series 11-5 including an 8-7 Bears' victory three weeks on April 9 in a regular match.
But Plattsburgh was able to use a 54-21 shots advantage along with controlling 16 of 21 on face offs to outscore Potsdam 7-2 in the second half.
Plattsburgh, who entered averaging 12.18 goals per contest, struck first when the Cardinals' leading scorer Brendan Damm scored.
The Bears stormed back with four unanswered marks to grab a 4-1 lead.
Potsdam worked a methodical offense to even the score at 1-1 with 6:06 left in the first quarter when senior attacker Rob Kunz (Watertown, N.Y. / IHC) got the Bears on the board.
Kunz added another score for Potsdam at the 4:17 mark to give Potsdam its first lead of the game at 2-1.
Senior midfielders Ryan McConnell (Syracuse, N.Y. / West Genesee) and Matt Donovan (Oswego, N.Y. / Oswego) added unassisted tallies early in the second quarter to push it to a three-goal lead.
Five-time SUNYAC Goalie of the Week Ryan Duffy (Liverpool, N.Y. / Liverpool) was sharp with nine saves in the first half and he closed with 19 on the day to equal his total he had against the Cardinals in the previous match. Duffy had a .635 save percentage on the day and upped his season save total to 211.
Senior Anthony Pafundi, junior Jack Felton and senior attackman Tim Lawrence scored three straight unanswered goals for the Cardinals to knot the score at 4-4 with 2:49 left in the second quarter.
The Cardinals needed just 49 seconds to reclaim a 5-4 lead after Kyle Kromer won the faceoff, Charlie Dullea picked up a groundball and Damm scored.
Potsdam drew even once again on a nice whip from the far side by Donovan.
Lawrence put the Cardinals back on top just 40 seconds later and it's a lead that Plattsburgh would not relinquish as it would go on to score six of the next seven goals to close out the game.
Ed Doherty (Amherst, N.Y. / Amherst) received a nice crossing pass in front of the net from Kunz and jumped and shot it over Cardinals' goaltender Andrew Hauk's head and into the net to cut the lead to 8-6.
Kunz finished with two goals and one assist to total 133 career points. He is currently ninth all-time in program history.
Damm had four goals and Lawrence picked up a hat trick for the Cardinals.