WORCESTER, Mass. – A spirited fourth quarter comeback fell short for the second time in three days and the middle minutes of the game continued to spell trouble for Massachusetts Maritime Academy's men's lacrosse team in a 16-10 NEWMAC defeat to Clark University. Trey Guerrini and Keaghan Bartley both netted two as a six-goal rally in the final stanza gave Buccaneer fans hope.
In a stunning mimicry of Monday's heart-breaking 10-9 defeat to Plymouth State University, the first quarter saw the Academy laxers exchange goals with the Cougars. The first three came from Clark nets, but just under five minutes into the quarter, Michael Sharry fed Jack Moran to make the score 3-1.
With 6:29 left and after another marker by the hosts, Moran then sent a pass to Kenny Parnell, who found the net to put the margin at two. Five minutes ticked off as the Buccaneers fired a series of shots at Clark goalkeeper Nathan Maselek before Guerrini finally found the net on a helper from Andrew Franks.
The second frame was all Cougars as they scored four goals to take a 7-3 lead to half-time. Alexandre Lucas beat the keeper at 8:34 left in the third to get the Bucs within three, however, the host side would go on another four-goal run to finish the frame.
A series of turnovers marked the first three minutes of the fourth before Robert Macarthy picked up a groundball off a Clark turnover and fed the ball downfield. Guerrini took the ball into the D himself and launched the ball past Maselek as the scoreboard changed to Clark 11, Maritime 5.
The next two goals each resulted from a face-off, with Clark claiming each. As two more minutes ticked off the clock, the Blue-and-Gold bore down. Marshall McCarthy gathered in a grounder off a Clark turnover and took the ball all the way home, scoring at 7:23. Once more, the ensuing tête-à-tête led to a Cougar goal and the Bucs discovered they were down 14-6 with six minutes to equal the score.
Coach Rick Bagby's men did, indeed, set to work with a newfound determination. Franks grabbed a grounder and sent the ball in and, after an errant Franklin Ragge attempt, Ted Powers dished to Sean Flaherty for the score. Clark had a man penalized for slashing and then had a violation on the face-off and Ragge quickly fired on goal, hitting the crossbar. Powers, however, got the ball to Bartley, who made the score 14-8.
As Sharry and Elliot Pressman marched to the circle again, Clark once more gave Maritime the ball on a violation and Bartley quickly made the host side pay. Lucas had the pass in following a Guerrini shot and MMA was suddenly down five with 2:33 left.
A quick goal change seemed to invigorate Clark, who won the face-off and scored following an illegal body check penalty on the visitors. The blow ended Maritime's chance with 1:59 remaining, although Bartley did assist Ragge, who had been unlucky all night in shooting eight times, five on target, and being denied until 65 seconds were left.
Maritime fired 12 shots in the fourth and had one fewer than the Courgars' 35 for the game. The difference came in turnovers and man-up opportunities as the Bucs lost 21 balls to Clark's 17. Maritime had seven chances to score with an extra player on the field and only converted twice.
Once more, Sharry led the team on the ground, winning 17-of-29 face-offs and picking up eight of MMA's 31 groundballs. He did not commit a turnover. Macarthy had four of his own, forcing three turnovers to tie Clark's Timothy Hally for the game high.
Will Mandracchia collected a hat trick and three assists for Clark, while Brandon King and Jacob Brandes also scored three goals. Owen Lamerson had three helpers as the Cougars put 25 shots on target. Michael Dolan (5-7) saved nine of those shots, while Maselek (8-4) stopped 7-of-12 in 51:05 minutes.
Bartley was on target with all three of his attempts, hitting the net on a pair and leading the Bucs with three points. Guerrini had five shots, two on goal, making both, as Maritime had 11 players notch points in the defeat.
Clark improved to 9-4, including 4-1 in the NEWMAC, while MMA fell to 5-6, 0-4. Bagby's men will try to end a three-game losing streak at home on Saturday on Senior Night. Clean Harbors Stadium will play host to the Coast Guard Academy in a 7 p.m. game, with the ceremony starting beforehand. Admission to the antepenultimate game of the season is free and all are welcome.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate