Tuttle's Last-Second Goal Saves Adelphi
from press release
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - Aidan Bennardo made a save with 74 seconds left to keep the #1 Adelphi University men's lacrosse team knotted at seven with North Region #4 Dowling College, setting up Salvatore Tuttle's second straight last second heriocs, as Tuttle scored with 6.3 seconds lift the Panthers to a 8-7 victory on Saturday, May 10 in the NCAA Division II National Championship Quarterfinal. With the win, Adelphi improves to 17-1 overall, setting a new program record for wins, while the Golden Lions fall to 12-5.
Tuttle and Joe Celano led the Adelphi offense, combining for five of the Panthers eight goals. Tuttle led all players with four points on three goals and an assists, while Celano was just a point behind, thanks to two goals and one helper. Joseph Sciara, Tim Daly, and Robert Rossi accounted for the home teams other three tallies, while Luke Spitzer chipped in an assist.
Sciara added two caused turnovers to his out put on the day, while Gregory Puskuldjian was dominant on the face-off, winning 12 of his 18 attempts and grabbing a game-high eight ground balls. Bennardo was stellar in goal for the Panthers, making a career-high 14 saves, including several point blank stops.
The visitors got off to a hot start, scoring the first three goals of the contest, with the final goal coming courtesy of Matt Crough, with 5:19 remaining in the quarter. However, Tuttle had an answer for the Panthers, beating Dowling's Frank Sommers with just 1:43 left in the quarter to make it a two goal game, 3-1, after 15 minutes of action.
Tuttle's goal did more then just get Adelphi on the board, it sparked a 7-0 Panther rally that spanned more then two quarters and coincided with a lock down of the Dowling attack by the Brown and Gold defense. The second frame saw the home team score three unanswered goals off the sticks of Daly, Tuttle and Sciara, to send Adelphi into the intermission with a 4-3 edge.
The intermission would be longer then either team expected, thanks to a lightning delay, but the Adelphi momentum held, as the Panthers scored three more goals in the third period, as Celano sandwiched two tallies around a Rossi goal. In all the Adelphi 7-0 run was started with 1:43 to go in the first quarter and lasted until the15th minute of the fourth.
The visitors showed that they had some fight left in them during the fourth quarter, scoring four goals during an almsot 10 minute span, with the game tying goal coming with just 4:52 left on the clock off the stick of Tom Cleary. Dowling would win the ensuing face-off, and continued to control the ball in the final minutes.
It seemed as if the Golden Lions had all the momentum, when Billy Richardson came around the cage with just 74 seconds remaining in the contest and fired the ball toward the Adelphi goal, But, Bennardo was up to the task and turned the Dowling attempt aside, giving the Panthers life.
A Golden Lion time out with 58 seconds left gave the home team the ball in their offensive third and after some movement, Tuttle ended up with the ball near the top of the top of the zone, with less then 15 seconds left he swept right to left, beat two Dowling defenders and ripped a shot from eight yards out that put a ripple in the Golden Lion goal and sent the Panthers to the Final Four, 8-7.
Adelphi will return to action on Sunday, May 18 when they welcome cross-island rival, LIU-Post to Motamed Field for an NCAA Division II National Semifinal at a time to be determined.
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