Bears Punch Ticket to NEWMAC Championship Game

Riley McNulty
Riley McNulty

NEW LONDON, Conn. -- Benner Geurtsen and Riley McNulty each scored three goals leading top-seeded Coast Guard to a thrilling 12-11 win over fourth-seeded Clark in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament semifinals.

Coast Guard ties the school record set last season with its 14th win of the season improving to 14-3 on the year and earning a spot in the NEWMAC tournament championship game for the second straight season. Clark finishes the season 11-8. The Bears beat Clark 14-13 in the regular season after overcoming an 8-1 deficit.

Coast Guard will host second-seeded Springfield in the NEWMAC Championship game on Saturday at 1:00. It will be a rematch of the 2018 NEWMAC Championship game in which Springfield beat the Bears 11-7 in the NEWMAC tournament championship game last season and the Pride beat Coast Guard 9-8 in the regular season this year.

Springfield beat third-seeded MIT 14-13 in overtime in the other semifinal tonight.

Coast Guard dominated play as the Bears outshot Clark 57-30 in the win.

Trey Johnson made five saves to pick up the win while Nathan Maselek was fantastic in goal for Clark finishing with 21 saves in the loss.

Will Iorio had a game-high four assists for the Bears in the win.

Coast Guard struck first on a goal by Jack Pope with 12:27 left in the first quarter before the Cougars scored three straight goals in just 31 seconds taking a 3-1 lead on a goal by Brandon King with 11:23 left.

McNulty would score for the Bears before the Cougars would again score three straight taking a 6-2 lead on a goal by Owen Lamerson with 43 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Bears would score pair of goals in a span of just 22 seconds to cut the deficit to 6-4 on a goal by Geurtsen with just nine seconds left in the opening quarter.

Coast Guard kept the momentum scoring the first two goals of the second quarter tying the game 6-6 on a goal by Geurtsen with 13:01 left in the half.

The Cougars took the lead 7-6 on a goal by Brandon King with 11:58 left before the Bears scored a pair taking the lead 8-7 on a goal by Will Iorio with 2:25 left in the half.

Clark would tie the game before the half as Chris Rasco found the back of the net with 1:45 left.

Each team would score twice in the third and the score was knotted at 10 after three quarters.

McNulty gave the Bears an 11-10 lead on a goal just 38 seconds into the fourth quarter and Anthony Wyler added another goal exactly one minute later pushing the lead to 12-10.

Jack Pierce scored a goal for Clark with 3:23 left to close the scoring.