Feb. 23, 2009

Courtesy of NYIT

Richmond, Va. (Feb. 22, 2009) - The reigning and defending national champions opened the 2009 season with an 18-9 win over Wingate University this afternoon in non-conference action. Junior Matt Sullivan (West Islip, N.Y.) tallied seven points in the victory, scoring three goals and passing out four assists for the Bears, who led from start to finish in the win. The loss drops Wingate to 0-2 on the season.

Leading 2-1 with five minutes to play in the first quarter, the Bears blew open the game, erupting for eight unanswered goals to take a commanding 10-1 lead. The scoring spree lasted until the 6:58 mark of the second quarter and was capped by a Sullivan goal. The Bears went into the half with a 12-4 lead. Junior Austin Carino (Huntington, N.Y.) scored all four of his goals in the first half, including three during the scoring spree.

Wingate’s Bryan Eagan opened the third quarter with a score to pull the Bulldogs to within 12-5, but the Bears responded behind senior Keith Henderson (Port Jeff Station, N.Y.), who scored three straight times to bring the Bears lead back up to 15-5.

NYIT took an 18-7 lead on freshman Matt Fitz’s (Medford, N.Y.) first career goal with 4:04 remaining and Wingate scored twice in the final four minutes to provide the final margin.

Henderson finished with four goals and an assist. Senior Chris Powers (Salt Lake City, Utah) made five savesand allowed six goals in 52 minutes of action in the net for the Bears to earn the win. Juniors Paul Gibson (Wilmington, Del.) and Peter Raab (Falston, MD) and sophomore Jeff Hunter (Shoreham, N.Y.) combined to win 73% of the games face offs and the Bears man-down defense was exceptional, limiting Wingate to just 2-9 on their man-up opportunities.

The Bears return to action on Sunday,  March 1, hosting St. Anselm at noon.