NEW LONDON, Conn.—John Lyons (Barrington, R.I.) scored two of his three goals in the fourth quarter to lead the 15th ranked Connecticut College Camels to an 11-10 come from behind victory against Wesleyan University in a NESCAC showdown of intra-state rivals played on the Artificial Turf at Silfen Field Wednesday.
The Camels, who have vaulted their way up to #15 in the latest USILA National Poll, close out the regular season at an 11-3 with an 8-2 mark in the NESCAC. They finish 2nd in the regular season standings and will host seventh seeded Hamilton College for a NESCAC Quarterfinal game this Saturday at 1 p.m.
The 18th ranked Cardinals fall to 11-4 and finish with a 6-4 record in conference action. The Cardinals finish fourth in the regular season standings and will host #5 Bowdoin College for a NESCAC Quarterfinal in Middletown Saturday afternoon at 1.
Chad Sawyer (Northfield, Ill.) chipped in with two goals and two assists for the Camels. Pat Leary (Troy, Mich.) had two goals and an assist for the winning side. Senior Andrew Freedman (Sudbury, Mass.) and Junior JR Hartgers (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) both finished with a goal and an assist for the Camels. Tyler Corcoran (Simsbury, Conn.) had two assists for Connecticut College.
Senior specialist Brendan Schrader (Annapolis, Md.) won 14-of-24 face-offs to go with seven ground balls. Brogan O'Connor (Haverhill, Mass.) had two ground balls and two caused turnovers from his defensive post.
Bobby Bleistein (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) made four of his 12 saves in the final quarter of action.
Wesleyan University sophomore midfielder Quentin DellFera (Locust Valley, N.Y.) scored three goals for the Cardinals. Junior Remy Lieberman (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) contributed two goals and two assists while junior Aidan Daniell (Hopkinton, N.H.) sandwiched a pair of goals around an assist for the visitors.
Junior net-minder Mark Simmons (East Hampton, N.Y.) made five saves in the contest.
Wesleyan dominated the first quarter of action and took a 4-1 lead when Mike Giambanco
(Massapequa, N.Y.) unloaded from the top of the box with 6:29 remaining. DellaFera tacked on one more goal with 1:33 remaining and the Cardinals enjoyed a 5-1 lead after one. Then, just two minutes into the second quarter, Lieberman scored on a nice feed from David Murphy (East Northport, N.Y.) and the Cardinals enjoyed their largest lead with a 6-1 advantage.
But on the ensuing face-off, the Camels responded. Schrader won the battle at the x and Penn Sadnaoui (Bedford, N.Y.) corralled the ground ball and sprinted straight to the cage for a Camel goal. Then, with 6:40 to go, Andrew Berry (Moorestown, N.J.) connected with Pat Leary for a goal to make it a 6-3 game. With 43.2 seconds left in the half, Sawyer connected with Thomas Woessner (Old Lyme, Conn.) for a goal to make it a 6-4 game. Stephen Eicher (Northport, N.Y.) induced the turnover that led to the Camel score.
Each side scored three times in the third and the Cardinals carried a 9-7 advantage into the final 15 minutes of action.
But in the fourth, Lyons and the Camels would not be denied. Just 57 seconds into the quarter, Lyons buried a goal from the left side of the box with Freedman assisting. Then with 11:53 remaining, Lyons assisted Chad Sawyer for a pretty turnaround shot from the left side that evened things up at 9-9. One minute later, Leary unloaded for a goal from the top of the box put the Camels on top 10-9.
DellaFera completed his trifecta with a goal at the 7:14 mark to force the fourth and final tie of the contest at 10.
But with 5:04 remaining, the Camels regained an 11-10 lead when Lyons netted his third goal of the day. Leary assisted on the go-ahead score.
Bleistein made two clutch saves in the closing moments. With 3:12 left, the reigning NESCAC Player of the Week denied Lieberman's bid to tie the game on an outside shot. Then, with 57 seconds remaining, Bleistein thwarted Zach Gaitz's attempt from the center of the box and the Camels were able to hold on for the 11-10 triumph.
Wesleyan out-shot Connecticut College 38-to-29. The visitors held a slim 27-to-26 edge in ground balls.