Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/8/17
From Press Release
It took more than 70 minutes, plenty of twists and turns and a quite a bit of anxiety, but when the dust settled on the Ursinus College men’s lacrosse team’s unforgettable battle with Montclair State on Wednesday, it was the Bears who were left standing after the longest game the program has ever seen.
Sophomore Peter DeSimone’s top-shelf rocket with 1:30 remaining in the third overtime gave 14th-ranked Ursinus (4-0) a walk-off win in a clash that takes its place among the annals as the first triple-overtime game in school history. The Bears are 4-0 for the second time in three seasons, and Wednesday’s victory marked the first time the program has ever opened a season with four straight double-digit scoring outputs.
Ursinus has won 13 consecutive home games, but this one required plenty of work.
Both teams had golden chances in extra time before DeSimone deposited his game-winner. Montclair State’s Brady Wulster had a look from just outside the crease with a minute remaining in the first overtime but sent his potential clincher just high, and Don Finn’s close-range effort with 14.6 ticks remaining in that frame nearly found the back of the net.
Red Hawks goalie Lucas Jones stoned Bears sophomore Patrick Bernicker all alone on the doorstep in the second extra session, and both teams survived multiple possessions by the other before Ursinus took advantage of a critical Montclair State turnover in the third overtime period. Jones had made a save on a shot by junior Gerard Brown, but his clearing pass sailed out of bounds, giving the Bears another chance. DeSimone made sure the Red Hawks paid, gaining enough separation to fire off a left-handed shot that scorched the back of the net and sent the home bench spilling onto the field in relieved celebration.
DeSimone’s dagger added another layer of heartbreak for a Montclair State team that has lost its first four games – all to ranked teams, and by a combined seven goals.
This one had so much drama that it was almost easy to forget that the Bears trailed 9-4 with 4:45 to play in the third quarter after Matt Haemmerle delivered his fifth goal of the afternoon. Ursinus’ then-struggling defense rose up, holding the Red Hawks scoreless for the next nearly 20 minutes as the offense came to life.
Freshman Reagan Ketchum’s (Manheim Township) man-up strike pulled Ursinus within 9-5, and junior Ian Desenberg’s bar-down blast on a feed from freshman Bobby McClure (Haverford High) closed the gap to three heading into the final frame.
Ketchum opened the fourth-quarter scoring with an unassisted marker before junior Lou Harrison (Ridley) made it a one-goal game at the 11:18 mark. McClure’s lone goal of the day leveled the spread at 9 with 7:12 to play, and Harrison handed the Bears their first lead since the first quarter when he powered in for the go-ahead tally with 1:51 to play.
Montclair State pulled even on Ryan Anzalone’s first of the year with 54.5 seconds remaining, setting the stage for more than ten more minutes of pure drama.
Harrison registered the second hat trick of his career and added an assist on McClure’s fourth-quarter finish. McClure his remarkable start with a goal and a career-best four assists, giving him at least four points in every game this season.
DeSimone’s game-winner was his second goal of the game, and Ketchum matched him with a pair of his own. Senior Matthew Cioeta netted his first of the season late in the first quarter.
Freshmen Nolan Sachs and Noah Frantz joined Brown, Cioeta, and junior Tim Miller with four ground balls each, and senior Zach Jones finished with three caused turnovers. Senior Corey Kelly caused two, including one in the second overtime for a defense that withstood six Montclair State possessions after regulation. The Bears penalty kill unit held the Red Hawks scoreless in four extra-man opportunities.
Sophomore goalkeeper Elliot Shevitz racked up 12 saves, including one in each overtime period. Jones finished with 14 stops for Montclair State.
The Bears found a way to win despite the best efforts of Blasé Mantineo, who dominated the faceoff X all afternoon. Mantineo won 21 of 26 faceoffs against three different opponents and collected 13 ground balls.
Haverford College 5, Gwynedd Mercy 1
Stephen DeLeo scored two goals and the Fords continued their strong defensive presence with a win at Gwynedd Mercy. The latest win gives the Fords (4-1) four straight victories for the first time since the 2012 season.
Dylan Slack stopped seven of the eight shots on goal he faced to help the Fords hold an opponent under two goals for just the seventh time in program history. The defensive effort was the strongest end result since an 18-0 shutout of Eastern during the 2007 season. The Fords have now allowed just one goal in a game on four occasions (1976 vs. Stevens Tech, 1993 vs. FDU-Madison, and 2002 vs. Susquehanna). Just three times have the Fords posted a shutout in school history.
The Griffins turned the ball over 15 times in Wednesday’s contest. Eight of those turnovers were caused by the pressure of the Haverford defense. PJ Jackson headlined that effort with five of the caused turnovers. Haverford also held a 21-16 advantage in ground balls with Jake Ephron’s four pickups leading the way. Jackson added three ground balls to go along with his caused turnovers.
Muhlenberg 14, Moravian 6
A new twist on an old rivalry resulted in the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team dominating the second half and beating Moravian 14-6.
The Mules (1-3) pulled ahead in the early goings before really turning it on in the third and fourth periods, scoring seven straight goals to start the half and winning 10-of-11 faceoff opportunities. Though Muhlenberg and Moravian are only separated by 10 miles, the game took place 360 miles away from either school on the campus of Christopher Newport in Newport News, Va.
With the win, Muhlenberg takes a 7-3-1 lead in the 2016-17 Matte Award standings with the next scheduled contest being a baseball game next Wednesday.
Freshman Frankie Feaster played a huge game, winning 15-of-20 faceoffs while collecting 10 ground balls, scoring two goals and causing two turnovers. Feaster now has two games out of four in his young career with 15 faceoff wins and three games with at least 10 ground balls. He has already racked up 50 faceoff wins and 36 ground balls to start the season.
Defensively, junior goalkeeper Lance Gibson saved six shots in 54 minutes to earn his first goalie victory of his career.
Delaware Valley 12, Virginia Wesleyan 8
Junior defender Danny Smith (Oakcrest-NJ) set school single-game records with 13 ground balls and eight caused turnovers while the Aggies scored five of the game’s final six goals for a non-conference triumph over host Virginia Wesleyan.
The victory improved DelVal to 2-2 on the young season while the Marlins suffered their fourth loss in five contests.
Smith, the reigning Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom Defensive Player of the Year, broke the ground ball mark of 12 set by teammate and faceoff specialist Matt Tordone last season. Smith also surpassed his own record of seven caused turnovers that he set on two separate occasions. To top off the evening, he even scored a goal and went 1-for-1 in faceoff opportunities.
Chris Coyle led DelVal with four goals.