Men's lacrosse opens season with OT loss
The Hamilton College Continentals rallied from an early five-goal deficit and took a late lead before the nationally ranked No. 12 Wesleyan University Cardinals rallied to tie the game in regulation and posted a 12-11 overtime NESCAC win at Hamilton’s Steuben Field on Saturday afternoon.
The game was the season opener for both teams and marked just the second time in 10 years that the Continentals started with a loss.
Quentin DellaFera ’15 had the game winner for Wesleyan, scoring a man-down goal with four seconds left in the sudden-victory overtime period.
After the Continentals used a 5-1 run to take an 11-10 lead with 1:51 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals tied the score on a goal by Nate Ryan ’15 with 58 seconds left.
Wesleyan had a chance to win the game in regulation, winning the faceoff after Ryan’s tying goal, but DellaFera’s shot with 30 seconds left was saved by Hamilton’s Will Driscoll ’15 and the Continentals ran out the fourth quarter clock. Ryan finished with two goals and two assists and Lyle Mitchell ’16 added four points, including a pair of goals.
Hamilton won the overtime faceoff and maintained possession for more than three minutes before taking a shot on a delayed penalty. Wesleyan’s Mark Simmons ’14 went to his knees to stop a shot by Hamilton’s John Zimmerman ’15. Elliot Albert ’14 forced a Hamilton turnover following the penalty and the Cardinals cleared the ball, setting up DellaFera’s game winner.
Connor Morgan ’15 led Hamilton with a career-high six goals, collecting five in a span of 15:08 in the second half.
The Continentals, who trailed 6-1 early in the second quarter, took their first lead with 7:26 left in the fourth. Bryan Hopper '14 scored his third goal to cap a 4-0 run that put Hamilton up 10-9. Ryan tied the score 3:25 later before the Continentals took their final lead. Sam Sweet ’16 fought out of a double team in front of the Cardinal net and beat Simmons to put the hosts up 11-10.
DellaFera and Matt Prezioso ‘15, who finished with three goals apiece, scored twice in the first quarter as the Cardinals opened a 5-1 lead after one period. They stretched the advantage to 6-1 just 1:18 into the second on the first of two goals by Graham Macnab ‘14.
Zimmerman matched a career high with three assists (raising his career total to 26) and collected a personal-best six ground balls. Hopper picked up a career-best eight ground balls. JD Brachman ’17 opened the scoring for Hamilton with his first collegiate goal.
Chad Berger ’14 picked up three ground balls and led the Continentals with three caused turnovers. Driscoll stopped 10 shots and picked up four ground balls.
Simmons finished with eight saves and five ground balls. Kevin Campbell ’15 caused a team-best four turnovers and Albert added three.
Hamilton plays a non-conference game at No. 17 Nazareth College on Wednesday, March 5, at 4 p.m. The Cardinals travel to Rensselaer on Wednesday.