Gritty Wildcats Survive Conference Test with Wells in 12-10 Victory
MARCY, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Wildcats (3-8, 3-2 NEAC) tipped their conference record above .500 on Saturday with a hard fought home victory over the Wells College Express (3-9, 3-3 NEAC). The Wildcats took advantage of an understaffed Wells team, forcing the Express into a number of fouls that resulted in a whopping 10 free positions shots for SUNYIT, of which they converted on four.
Despite never giving the lead over to the visitors, the Wildcats were the survivors of a gritty contest. Every time the Wildcats attempted to race out in front, Wells was there with an answer.
Midway through the second half, the Wildcats finally gained some breathing room in taking their largest lead of the game at 11-8 on a goal by Veronica Metz (Morrisville, N.Y. / MVCC). Metz had a monster day for the Wildcats, scoring 5 goals on 10 shots. The performance marked Metz's third game of five or more goals in the 2012 season.
As they did all game, however, the Express kept coming back – just moments after Metz's goal, junior attacker Sarah Allen answered with a net-ripper at the 14:15 mark. Allen cut right down the middle of the field and received an excellent feed from behind the goal by sophomore attacker Courtney Grosser, as Allen gathered the pass and scored all in one motion.
Allen was among three Express players carrying the scoring load on the day, registering three goals to go along with identical outputs from Grosser and middie Madeline Bass.
Unfortunately for Wells, the Wildcats would clamp down on defense the rest of the way to hang on for the 12-10 win.
"It wasn't the prettiest," said Wildcat Coach Erynn Anderson, referring no doubt to SUNYIT's +3 turnover margin and 8 fewer groundballs than the Express, "but obviously we're happy to get conference wins however we can and that's what our team did today."
Not to be lost amongst the scoring barrage from Metz was the performance of team captain Taviot Jackowski (LaFayette, N.Y. / LaFayette High School). Jackowski turned in an inspired performance, scoring three goals including the free position goal at 11:26 in the second half to give SUNYIT a much-needed cushion at 12-9. But her ground game was perhaps more important, as the junior led SUNYIT in both draw controls with 6, and groundballs with 5. The former may have been the difference in the game, as the Wildcats held a distinct 16 to 8 advantage on draw controls over Wells.
In a big conference weekend for SUNYIT, the Wildcats will take the field again in less than 24 hours with a home match up against NEAC-leading Keuka College. Game time is set for 1:00 pm.