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Nick Watson leads Adelphi past NYIT into semifinals

Nick Watson makes his way to the cage

Nick Watson makes his way to the cage will being covered by NYIT's Eric Talbot. (May 11, 2013) Credit: Bob Sorensen

There were plenty of things trying to stop Adelphi men's lacrosse Saturday afternoon. Whether it was Luke Miller's seven goals and two assists, or Mother Nature delaying the game for more than an hour and 40 minutes, it was anything but your run of the mill, first-round matchup in the division II NCAA Tournament.

But Adelphi seemed ready for everything as the Panthers moved onto the semifinals in a 14-11 win over NYIT where they will face Le Moyne in the national semifinals next Saturday.

"Anytime you play New York Tech, you know it's going to be a tough one," Adelphi coach Gordon Purdie said. "We came out strong; our boys were prepared and showed their heart."

While NYIT's Miller might have dominated on the score sheet with a nine point effort, that kind of game was anticipated. "Seven goals and two assists? Enough said," Purdie said. "I let him know how great of a player he is when I shook his hand after the game. He really was the player of the day today."

Adelphi had its own scoring card up its sleeve as Nick Watson scored four goals and added an assist. His two goals in the second half helped hold off a late NYIT charge. Starting the second half up 10-3, Miller scored half of the Bears' final eight goals that had NYIT as close as four with 5:48 left in the third.

Two goals from Watson and one apiece from Joseph Sciara and Robert Rossi put Adelphi in the clear. Watson's attack mate up front, Sal Tuttle added two goals and an assist.

"We just played our game and we looked to share the ball," Watson said. "I just got my shots off today and luckily was able to finish them. Everyone played hard and we're happy with that."

Adelphi goalie Eric Janssen faced the firing squad early, making two early saves on good NYIT chances to spark Adelphi's hot start.

While Janssen set a stonewall tone early, he made 13 saves on the day, Tuttle made his presence known, scoring Adelphi's first and getting the helper on the second.

With 2:52 left in the first quarter, with Adelphi leading 5-2, lightning in the area halted the game for 1 hour, 40 minutes. "That was one of the longest games I've ever been a part of," Purdie said. "I think that worked to our advantage. We had more numbers than them and that time off asked a lot of NYIT's players."

Tuttle and Watson each had two goals and an assist in the first half as Adelphi maintained possession for most of the first 30 minutes.

As Adelphi put on an exhibition in ball movement, NYIT was lethargic, relying on Luke Miller's individual brilliance to create plays. He accounted for all three of NYIT's first half goals.

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