NEW LONDON, Conn – The Buccaneers were on the road Tuesday evening for a non-conference clash with the Coast Guard Academy Bears. The Bucs scored two in the contest but were outscored by the Bears as CGA took the game, 3-2.
For the Buccaneers, AJ Bubencik (Foxboro, Mass) and Jacob Crawford (Rockland, Mass) were the goal scorers. Senior midfielder Brendan Gawron (Braintree, Mass) assisted on both goals for Maritime. For Bubencik, it was his second goal of the season in fourteen games played while Crawford's goal was his third in fourteen games this season. The two assists for Gawron brought his season total three. Senior goalie Connor Murphy (Mashpee, Mass) started his seventh game of the season for the Bucs and saved two of the five shots he saw from the Bears while allowing three goals. Freshman goalie, Mitch Hardy (Pepperell, Mass) took over goaltending duties in the second half, saving each of the four shots he faced.
There were three different goal scorers for the Bears, Noa Pagatpatan, Patrick Palermo-Re, and Landon Klopfenstein. Bears goalie William Bragaw worked the first half and recorded the win, saving three shots and allowing one goal. James Morrison took over in the second half saving three shots and allowing a goal himself.
The Bears opened the scoring in the ninth minute on Palermo-Re's unassisted goal. The Buccaneers answered five minutes later when Bubencik found the back of the net in the 13th minute. Maritime's defense held strong for the next 20 minutes when Pagatpatan broke the tie game in the 33rd minute giving the hosts a 2-1 lead. Klopfenstein extended the Bears lead in the 37th minute sending the game to the half, 3-1, in favor of Coast Guard.
There wasn't much offensive action in the second half, despite the 18 combined shots, 12 by the bears, 6 by the Bucs in the second 45. Hardy played well enough to give the Bucs offense a chance at the other end of the field. In the 90th minute, Crawford found the back of the net to pull the Bucs back within one, but it wasn't enough as they couldn't score in the following 53 seconds and the Bears snuck away with a 3-2 victory.
Next up for the Bucs is a pivotal conference matchup with Bridgewater State at home on Friday night, which is also senior night for Maritime. Bridgewater is currently fourth in the MASCAC while the Buccaneers sit in seventh, just a game and a half out of the final playoff spot with two conference games remaining.