Clearwater, Fla. – After waiting nearly a week longer than they were supposed to, Clark University opened its 2012 season with a 10-9 loss to Catholic University on Tuesday afternoon at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex.
The Cougars' first three games – versus Assumption, Anna Maria and Becker – were either postponed because of weather or field conditions following last week's winter storm.
Watching the game with the Cardinals, who entered the game sporting a 4-1 mark, you would've never known Clark was in their season opener.
The Cougars led at several points throughout the game, including a 5-3 edge after Graham Werner (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) found the back of the net on an extra-man opportunity midway through the second quarter.
Catholic fought back and tied the game at 5-5 going into halftime and then the contest was tied at 7-7 to start the fourth quarter.
Clark went ahead 8-7 on the third goal of the game by Jeffrey Wasson (Buckhorn, Ontario) early in the final period, but the Cardinals had an answer. Chris Fuccillo scored twice and Brendan Englert added another as Catholic went ahead 10-8.
The Cougars made one final push, when Werner took a feed from Phil Winslow (Providence, R.I.) and cut the Cardinal edge to 10-9, but Clark would get no closer.
Fuccillo finished with a game-high five goals, while Englert added a pair for the victors. The Cougars were led by Wasson, who had his second career hat trick. In addition, Chris Johnson (Amherst, Mass.) had a goal and three assists and Winslow totaled two goals and two assists.
Andrew DeVito (Glastonbury, Conn.) was stellar in goal for Clark turning back a career-best 19 shots.
The Cougars (0-1) will return to action on Friday when they face DeSales University at 4:00 p.m.