PAXTON, Mass – Thursday evening, Benedictine University, out of Chicago, Ill, travelled to Paxton to take on the AMCATS as part of a two game road trip that they will finish on Saturday against Becker College. Though the Eagles led wire-to-wire, the 'Cats were able to keep it close, narrowly losing to BU, 9-7.
The AMCATS were led by leading scorer Brandon Pavoni who scored six goals in the game on seven shots on target. The other Anna Maria goal was scored by current GNAC rookie of the Week, Cameron Perry. Leading the team in assists in the game with three was Ryan Rockwal who also tried to find the back of the net with four shots of his own, all on target. Goalie Paul Schwarz saw 36 shots come his way, of which he saved 27 which will improve his already impressive 65% save percentage.
For Benedictine, Corbin Gett and Nick Wood led the way offensively with three goals apiece. Gett added two assists to his score line. Randy Patrick also had a multi-goal game, adding two to the Eagles tally. Starting Goalie Sam Sanko saw made 15 shots in the on 20 shots faced.
The first quarter began slow but with Benedictine holding most of the possession in their offensive zone. Three and a half minutes in, Patrick broke the scoreless tie on an unassisted goal. Pavoni would answer several minutes later scoring his first of six. Once again, with the Eagles holding most of the possession, the action slowed down until there were five minutes left in the period and Patrick netted his second to give Benedictine a 2-1 lead which they would take in to the second period.
In the second, the Eagled continued scoring unanswered by Anna Maria. Wood would score his first at the 11:21 mark. 31 Seconds later, Gett scored as well, both assisted by Thomas Tillett. They would get a fourth unanswered from Wood, his second before Pavoni cut the lead to three with a goal with just under two minutes remaining in the half. At the half, the Eagles held a 5-2 advantage over their hosts.
The third quarter was slow in terms of goal production with both defenses playing well. Gett did score two in a three-minute span to give his team a five goal lead, which at the time seemed insurmountable for the AMCATS. As the clock ticked down in the third, Pavoni scored his third, assisted by Malik Griffith, with 14 second left on the clock. At the end of three, Benedictine still held a 7-3 lead.
Even though the lead was four goals to the Eagles, the game never seemed out of hand for Anna Maria and they proved that in the fourth quarters. With the Eagles trying to prevent a comeback, they committed penalties early in the quarter which Pavoni and the AMCATS were able to take advantage of as Brandon scored on both man-up opportunities to help his team back within two with over 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Six minutes would pass without much offensive action as again, both defenses took control of the game. Then, with 5:46 on the clock, David Blanco netted his only goal of the evening to extend the lead back out to three and just a minute later, Wood added another. Now, with a 9-5 lead, the AMCATS offense had to get something going. Another Eagles penalty allowed that opportunity with three minutes to play. Perry took advantage of that opportunity scoring a goal on an assist from Rockwal pulling their team back within three. The AMCATS outscored the Eagles in the fourth, 4-2, as Pavoni scored his sixth with two minutes to play. Unfortunately, the two goals in the period scored by Benedictine were enough to push the Eagles past the 'Cats, 9-7, when all was said and done.
The AMCATS will be back on AMCAT field on Saturday afternoon at 1pm hosting Mass Maritime.