VIRGINIA BEACH -- Senior Joe Papetti (Edgewater, Md./South River) beat the clock Sunday to fire in a goal with four seconds remaining to give Virginia Wesleyan College's Marlins a 4-3 halftime lead over the Bears of the United States Coast Guard Academy.
While Papetti's goal ended a hard-fought first half on Foster Field on Sunday, it also marked a switch in momentum. The Marlins came back to dominate the final two quarters of the non-conference contest, outscoring the Bears 8-0 en route to posting a 12-3 victory before a large crowd at the Trinder Center.
Seven different Marlins scored in the final two quarters to help produce the win, including sophomore Eddie Desiderio (Floral Park, N.Y./The Hill Academy, Ontario), who led the effort with back-to-back goals in the fourth.
Coast Guard (0-2) scored the first goal of the game on a shot by Justin Huemme (Sherborn, Mass./Dover Sherborn), but VWC sophomore Matt Baldwin (Edgewater, Md./Southern)got it back 25 seconds later. That started a back-and-forth scoring battle between the teams, which resulted in a 3-all tie entering the final 11 mnutes of the second quarter. Defenses dominated for most of the quarter, before Papetti came through with his game-changing goal.
Eight Marlins scored goals overall, led by John Roth (Merrick, N.Y./Calhoun), Josh Currier (Peterborough, Ontario/Holy Name-Hill Academy), and Desiderio with two goals each. Roth also produced a pair of assists.
Senior Rory Finnegan (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) produced 12 saves in 57:27 in goal for the Marlins, before Sean Galloway (Shady Side, Md./Southern)entered the complete the game. Ryan Carpenter (Evergreen, Colo./Conifer) recorded nine saves for the Bears.
Rookie Duncan Haight (Great Falls/Langley)was instrumental in igniting the offense for VWC as he recorded 12 face-off wins in 15 attempts. He also shared team-high honors in ground balls with Currier, both finishing with five.
VWC returns to competition on Wednesday, March 11, playing at Christopher Newport University at 7 p.m.