No. 7 Merrimack survives scare from Pace for overtime victory
PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- After squandering a six-goal lead early in the third period, seventh-ranked Merrimack College needed a fourth-period goal to send the contest to overtime before Andrew Vivian won the match with a sudden-victory tally, as the Warriors survived a scare from Pace University, 11-10, in a Saturday afternoon Northeast-10 Conference matchup.
"Give Pace credit, they're very tough, well coached and talented," said head coach Mike Morgan. "That's a tough road game for us and we saw how hard they played Adelphi in the same type of situation. They had a great game plan and played us hard. We need to clean up our play and hopefully start to get healthy next week."
Merrimack built itself a three-goal lead at the intermission and stretched that advantage to six (8-2) five minutes into the third period before the Setters mounted an epic comeback, tallying six uninterrupted markers to draw even and then took the lead in the fourth quarter after back-to-back goals, putting the Warriors suddenly in a come-from-behind situation.
Down by one, freshman Tucker Schwarz ripped home his second goal of the game with 8:53 to play to get the Warriors back even at 10-all, and from there on out neither side would score thanks to four saves from Pace goalkeeper Timothy Izzo and a pair of stops from Dom Madonna over the remainder of regulation to set up a winner-take-all situation in overtime.
After Pace won the opening faceoff in overtime, the Setters had their chance to win it if not for a huge stop by Madonna at the 3:24 mark of the period. Then, with the Warriors in possession, Vivian rang the post with 2:19 to go but Andy Basler caused a turnover on the ensuing clear. Merrimack's next shot was again stopped by Izzo before Pace turned it over again.
On his next chance, Vivian would not miss, as the junior transfer buried the game-deciding strike with just 1:08 to play in overtime to send the Warriors to their fourth straight win in walk-off fashion.