The Alfred State lacrosse team won a critical Region III Western Division contest 7-6 over Mercyhurst North East to keep their playoff hopes alive. Alfred State is now 3-6 overall and 2-2 in Region III West Division play.
Keegan Phalen (East Aurora) got the Pioneers on the board just 57 seconds into the game after getting a pass from Brandon Griffin (Corning East). Griffin found Nate Spoor (Penn Yan) eight seconds later to give Alfred a 2-0 lead.
No one could find the back of the net until the last minute of the 1st quarter when Anthony LaGuardia scored for Mercyhurst and Griffin answered back with 47 seconds remaing after getting a pass from Bradley Murdoch (Auburn) to make it 3-1.
The Pioneers and Saints traded goals in the 2nd quarter. Dave Ford (Orchard Park) scored to give the blue & gold a 4-1 lead, Max Bonetti answered, Phalen scored his 2nd of the day to make it 5-2, and Bonetti sent the game into half with a 5-3 score.
Mercyhurst controlled play in the 3rd quarter. Vinny Cardella cut it to 5-4 with his first of two goals in the period. Spoor scored two minutes later to make it a two-goal game again before Cardella scored to make it 6-5 heading into the final stanza.
Phalen completed the hat trick just 31 seconds into the 4th and the Pioneers allowed only a Mike LaGuardia goal with 12 seconds remaining to hold on for the victory.
Phalen finished with three goals, Griffin had a goal and two assists, and Spoor found the back of the net twice. Murdoch grabbed a game-high nine ground balls.
Mike Alessi (Liverpool) made 17 saves in net to earn the victory. Jayson Dunn made 11 saves for the Saints.
The Pioneers head to Binghamton on Monday to complete their suspended game from 4/10 with the Hornets. The game will start at 4 p.m. with the Hornets holding a 6-1 lead at the start of the 3rd quarter.