For the second consecutive game, the Hobart College lacrosse team needed overtime to earn a decision and for the second game in a row, senior attackman Alex Love scored the game-winning goal. Love’s fourth goal of the afternoon came with 1:12 remaining in OT and lifted the Statesmen to a 7-6 Northeast Conference victory at Robert Morris University on Saturday, March 28th.
Coming off a 7-6 overtime win against Bryant last Saturday, Hobart (5-3) improved to 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2004 when it was a member of the Patriot League.
The Statesmen twice rallied from two-goal deficits to force OT. The game got off to a fast start with the Colonials (1-8, 0-2) jumping out to a 4-2 lead after 15 minutes. The home team scored twice before Love finished a feed from junior midfielder Frank Brown to get Hobart on the board. After RMU restored its two-goal lead, the Statesmen executed a successful hidden ball trick. Two Statesmen crossed paths to the right of the cage, the ball ended up in Love’s stick behind the cage. He fed Brown, who cut right to the front of the goal and dumped it home with 16 seconds left in the opening frame. The Colonials won the ensuing faceoff and needed just 10 seconds to grab a 4-2 lead.
In the second quarter, defense ruled as neither team managed to find the back of the net.
Love, assisted by Matt Opsahl, and senior Taylor Vandebeek, set by by sophomore Gavin Llewellyn scored in succession to start the second half, tying the game at 4. RMU moved back in front with a late third quarter goal and stretched its lead to 6-4 on James Rahe’s second goal of the game with 13:56 left in the fourth.
Senior Brendan Saylor started Hobart’s final comeback, scoring an unassisted goal with 9:10 left.
Sophomore goalie Jackson Brown struggled through the first 45 minutes against the Colonials, but came up huge in the stretch run. He logged five fourth quarter saves, all of which came after Saylor’s goal.
Hobart killed off a 30 second penalty just under the two-minute mark and got possession back with under a minute remaining. Llewellyn assisted on Love’s game-tying goal with 35 seconds to go and Brown stopped Eric Rankel’s shot with four seconds left in regulation to set up the drama of OT.
RMU won the opening faceoff but turned the ball over without a shot. After a successful clear, Brown set up Love for the second time, giving Hobart back-to-back wins. It’s just the second time in program history that the Statesmen have played consecutive OT games (Penn State and Ohio State in 2004) and first time Hobart has won consecutive OT games.
Love’s four goals raise his career total to 123, moving him past Eric Curry ’96 into 12th place on Hobart’s all-time list, just one behind No. 11 Ray Gilliam ’87. Brown finished with three points, including a career-high two assists, while Llewellyn also posted a career-high two helpers. Junior Cooper Stefaniak grabbed a career and game-high six ground balls. Brown finished with eight saves.
In addition to Rahe’s two goals, Luke Laszkiewicz added a goal and an assist. Chase Rose made nine saves in goal. Chris Barney went 10-6 at the faceoff X.
Hobart will be back in action on Saturday, April 4, when the Statesmen visit Sacred Heart for another NEC showdown. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.