The Ithaca College men’s lacrosse team defeated No. 18 St. Lawrence University by one goal in an exciting overtime victory March 27 at Higgins Stadium. Nine games into their season, the Blue and Gold hold an overall record of 6–2, and 3–1 in the Liberty League. The game was consistent in strong efforts from both teams, making it an exciting and competitive league matchup for all four quarters, and double overtime minutes.
The Bombers came out with strength immediately, led by senior captain Josh Della Puca, who scored the first goal of the game within the first minute, with an assist from sophomore midfielder Connor Till. Della Puca soon tallied another on the day as he scored unassisted with seven minutes left in the first quarter, making the Bomber’s lead 2–0.
The Blue and Gold held their lead confidently, though the game remained intense with an even matchup of face–off wins, ground balls and turnovers on each side of the ball. With under four minutes of play remaining in the first quarter, St. Lawrence put one on the scoreboard, leaving the score 2–1 after the first quarter.
The South Hill squad immediately hit the ground running in the second quarter, as Della Puca assisted sophomore attack Kyle Johnson for his first goal of the day, lifting the Bombers to a 3–1 lead. The Saints answered quickly, decreasing the deficit to only one. Play remained competitive throughout the whole second quarter, as sophomore midfielder Matt Pagliaro held the face–off wins at exactly 3–3 with his opponent, and ground balls and turnovers remained evenly matched.
Junior attack Ryan Ozsvath put up his first goal of the day unassisted with just over eight minutes remaining in the half. Immediately following, Della Puca scored his third of the day, and Ozsvath added another, making the score 6–2. The Saints didn’t leave the half unanswered and put one up on the scoreboard with just over 30 seconds remaining in the half. The Bombers went into halftime leading 6–3. At the half, freshman goalie Connor Thornton had already racked up an impressive nine saves.
The second half of play between this league matchup was just as competitive as the first. The Bombers again scored the first goal of the quarter by junior attack Daniel Lee, but soon after the Saints secured a three-goal run, making the score 7–6. Ozsvath increased the lead to two goals from an assist by sophomore attack Connor Brumfield, who secured his first point of the day. The Saints answered this, but Della Puca fought back, scoring his fourth goal of the game and leading the Bombers into the final quarter at 9–7.
On a man-up opportunity to start the fourth quarter, Ozsvath put up his fourth goal of the day, assisted by Della Puca. After another three-goal scoring run by St. Lawrence, the game was all tied up at 10 goals with 7:45 left in the quarter. Both teams added one to the scoreboard, as Brumfield secured his second assist of the game to Ozsvath, who continued to rack up individual stats. With the rest of the quarter left scoreless, the Bombers headed into the first overtime period of four minutes.
With 60 minutes of exciting regulation play under their belts, the Bombers went into overtime with confidence and intensity. Within the four-minute overtime period, the Bombers had three shots, but none translated into a game-winner.
Thornton held his ground and made a nail-biting save with only seven seconds remaining on the game clock. The excitement continued as the first overtime period was left scoreless, and the Bombers headed into double overtime.
With 1:14 remaining in the second overtime period, senior midfielder Owen Smith secured the game-winning goal unassisted for the Bombers, a perfect finish to nearly 68 exciting minutes of competitive play.
Throughout the game, sophomore defender Jake Hall-Goldman had two major caused turnovers, and sophomore defender Logan Adams earned two caused turnovers as well, along with three ground balls. Junior defender Aaron McCartney and senior defender Sean Seaberg each tallied four ground balls.
Between the pipes, Thornton finished the day with what may have been his most impressive performance yet this season, racking up 12 saves during the four quarters and two overtime periods.
The Bombers will return to the field again in another Liberty League matchup at 1 p.m. March 30 against Vassar College at J. L. Weinberg Sports Pavilion in Poughkeepsie, New York.