Hartford Lacrosse Comes Back but Falls to Holy Cross in Overtime, 15-14February 26, 2012
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Hartford men’s lacrosse team overcame a three goal deficit in the final quarter of play but it was Holy Cross who found the back of the net first in overtime to lead the Crusaders to a 15-14 defeat of the Hawks on Saturday afternoon at Al-Marzook Field. With the home opening loss, the Hawks fall to 0-2 on the young season while the Crusaders even up their record at 1-1.
With the Hawks playing from behind the entire second half, senior Carter Bender scored unassisted with 6:50 left in the final quarter and junior transfer Garrett Dollard cut his team’s deficit to a single goal at 14-13 with just 59 notches remaining on the regulation clock.
After regaining possession in the ensuing face-off, the Hawks regrouped out of a timeout with 33 seconds remaining. Hartford went to veteran attackman Ryan Compitello who from behind the cage, curled around and knotted the score for the first time since late in the second quarter with the first goal of his senior campaign.
With 15 seconds left, Holy Cross won the face-off and would be man-up for the remainder of regulation, but could not convert out of a timeout, sending the game into extra time. In overtime, the Crusaders took advantage of the extra man situation and scored just 28 seconds in on an unassisted score by attackman James Kennedy.
Kennedy finished with a game-best eight points on six goals and a pair of assists while John Hannan netted five markers for the Crusaders. Bender and linemate Aidan Genik paced Hartford’s offense with three goals each. Bender added an assist for four points while Genik dished out a pair of helpers for a team-best five tallies.
In the first minute of play, Hartford jumped ahead, 2-0, on goals by Genik and Ty Schuldt, the rookie’s first of his career. The Crusaders got their first tally on the scoreboard not soon after as Kennedy netted his first goal on the afternoon at 13:28 to make it 2-1.
With his first goal of 2012, Bender provided the Hawks with a 3-1 edge just 80 seconds later before John Hannan went back-to-back for the Crusaders with goals less than one minute apart from each other to tie the contest at 3-3 after just five minutes of action.
The Hawks regained their edge quickly as Genik beat Crusaders’ goalie Will Cummings and Kevin O'Shea followed suit with his first of two goals to again push the home team ahead by two at 5-3 with 7:48 to play in the first quarter.
Kennedy would close out the scoring in the opening period and bring his team within a single goal with an unassisted goal at the 4:41 mark.
The second period also saw a flurry of goals however the Crusaders outscored the Hawks, 5-3, to take the advantage at the halftime break with a score of 9-8.
Holy Cross came out of the intermission firing and gained a two-goal advantage less than 90 seconds into the third on another score by Hannan. Senior Martin Bowes responded for the Hawks with his unassisted tally at the 9:51 mark to make the score 10-9 however every time Hartford trimmed the deficit to a single point, Holy Cross had an answer and would make it a two goal contest.
In the fourth quarter, Holy Cross took its largest lead of the game at 14-11 on a goal by Colin McGeehin with 7:39 to go before Hartford stormed back in the final minutes with unanswered scores by Bender, Dollard and Compitello. The Hawks, unfortunately, would not be able to complete the comeback.
The battle of the face-offs went in favor of Holy Cross (18-of-32) however the Hawks led in both shots (43-36) and ground balls (38-37). In goal, Scott Bement finished with 11 saves while Will Cummings recorded 12.
Prior to Saturday’s opening face-off, Hartford unveiled its 2011 America East Championship banner in front of a crowd of 767 fans.
The Hawks head west for their next match-up, a non-conference clash at No. 11 Denver on Saturday, March 3. Opening face-off if set for 3:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. Mountain Time).