Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – A game that featured two of the more prolific defenses in the country lived up to the billing as Colorado College and the top ranked scoring defense in the country held off the Poets, 6-5, in the first annual Locker-Stabler Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Colorado (15-0) scored with 5:55 left in the fourth quarter in a man-up situation and stopped Whittier's last ditch effort in the closing seconds to preserve its unblemished season.
The Tigers had possession with 1:17 on the clock but Riley Myrick and Ryan Kirkpatrick forced the turnover with less than 50 seconds remaining in regulation. The Poets completed the clear and patiently waited for a chance to find the equalizer.
As it was all afternoon, the chances were difficult to come by and after Mike Neumayr corralled a ground ball in the middle of the defense his off balanced shot was stopped by Colorado keeper Zach Steedman.
Steedman, who entered the game with the best goals-against-average in the nation, finished the game with 11 saves.
Robert Bazlen, who ranked second in NCAA Division III in save percentage, was sidelined due to injury. In his place, Jon Cairone started between the pipes and kept the Poets alive with four, fourth quarter stops. He finished the game with 10 saves.
The Tigers opened the game with two straight goals before Daniel McQuade scored his first of three on the afternoon with 2:16 left in the first stanza. McQuade started the second quarter scoring at the 11:32 mark but Colorado ended the half on a 2-0 run to lead 4-2 at the intermission.
McQuade chalked up the hat trick to start the second half scoring and Taylor Dean tied the score at 4-4 as he finished a feed from McQuade.
The third quarter that had a combined four goals saw the Tigers reclaim the lead with 1:03 left before Neumayr scored his first of the season with 10 seconds left in the quarter.
Whittier (4-7) outshot Colorado, 36-27, and had 28 ground balls to the Tigers' 23.
The loss is the fourth of the season by one goal. In addition, the Poets have lost one game by two goals and one game by three goals.
NOTES – The Locker-Stabler Cup was created to honor legendary coaches Doug Locker and Doc Stabler who helped bring lacrosse to the West Coast…the game was the first meeting between the two programs since 2008…Whittier became an NCAA program in 2000 and is 5-3 against Colorado College since that point.