Tuttle Stars As Adelphi Nips Merrimack in Overtime
from press release
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - Salvatore Tuttle saved his best efforts for last, virtually putting the top seeded Adelphi University men's lacrosse team on his back, scoring the teams final three goals, including the game winner in overtime, propelling the Panthers to a Northeast-10 Tournament Championship over Merrimack College 13-12. With the win, the Brown and Gold sit at 16-1 overall and earned the programs second tournament crown in the past four seasons, while Merrimack falls to 12-5 and awaits a possible invitation to the NCAA Division II Championship.
Tuttle led the offense with a game-high six points on five goals and one assist, including four of the final five Adelphi goals in the game. Jamie McAndrew and Nick Susko were the only other Panthers with more then one point, handing out two assists each. In a show of the Brown and Gold's depth, eight different Panthers netted goals in the win.
Tyler Felice Jennings and the Adelphi defense came to play, causing 15 turnovers, including a game-high four for Felice Jennings. Wayne Marx and Patrick Strake caused two turnovers each, while Joe Sciara and Tuttle grabbed five ground balls.
Gregory Puskuldjian controlled the face-off "X" for the
Panthers, winning 19 of 29 face-offs and picked up a game-high 15
ground balls. Aidan Bennardo collected his 16th win of the season,
making 12 saves, including two huge stops in the overtime period to
keep the game tied at 12.
The Brown and Gold jumped on Merrimack early, scoring five of the first six goals of the game, with the last of the five coming off the stick of Tuttle at the 13:35 mark of the second period. The Warriors responded by turning the tables on Adelphi and scoring five of the next six, knotting the game at 6-6, with just 59 seconds left in the first half, which sent the teams in deadlocked.
Momentum continued in Merrimack's favor as the Warriors scored three of the five third period goals, finding themselves 15 minutes away from a NE-10 Tournament Championship. However, Adelphi and Puskuldjian shifted the action in the fourth in their favor. The Panthers scored two goals in the first 49 seconds of the fourth, just 10 seconds apart off the sticks of Tuttle and Puskuldjian to steal the lead away from the visitors, 10-9.
An Andrew Vivian tally knotted the game at 10 with 13:46 to play, but back-to-back successful efforts from Tuttle gave the Brown and Gold control of the game, 12-10 with 10:09 to play. After nearly seven minutes of back and forth action, the Warriors scored twice in a span of 50 seconds to tie the game at 12 with just 2:55 left in the fourth. Merrimack also won the ensuing face-off, but was not able to find the back of the net in the final 2:55, as the Adelphi defense was up to the task, holding the visitors to just two shots in the final minutes.
The sudden victory overtime kicked off with Merrrimack taking advantage of a rare Puskuldjian bobble on the face and back-to-back point blank saves from Bennardo handed the ball back to Adelphi with 3:22 on the clock, which would prove to be more then enough time for Tuttle. After a Panther timeout, Tuttle was given a restart in the corner of the field behind the goal, he pushed his man to the crease and then rolled outside and beat Merrimack's Dom Madonna over his right shoulder for the game winner.
For their efforts both Bennardo and Puskuldjian were named to the All-Tournament team, while Tuttle was honored with inclusion on the All-Tournament team and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Championship. They were joined by Bentley's Josh Baker, LeMoyne's Kam Bumpus and Merrimack's Dom Madonna and Paul Jones on the All-Tournament team.
The Panthers will now await their quarterfinal opponent in the NCAA Division II Tournament, which will be announced live at 7:30 pm on NCAA.com.
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