Men's Lacrosse Edges Clark, 9-8, in Overtime Thriller

Senior Luke Verdi
Senior Luke Verdi

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Luke Verdi (Middletown, Md.) scored with six seconds remaining in overtime to give the MIT men's lacrosse team a 9-8 victory over Clark University in NEWMAC action on Saturday afternoon. The extra session materialized after freshman Brandon King (Eastham, Mass.) produced a man-up goal with four seconds left in regulation.

MIT junior Harris Stolzenberg (Weston, Fla.) opened the scoring with back-to-back goals midway through the first quarter. The score remained unchanged until Clark tallied three straight goals during the first five minutes of the second stanza. Junior Nick Johnson (Amherst, Mass.) put the Cougars on the board at the 11:26 mark and then found senior Rob Holden (East Longmeadow, Mass.) for the equalizer 26 seconds later. Clark would then go ahead, 3-2, courtesy of a strike by freshman Jack Pierce (Westborough, Mass.) with 10:04 on the clock.

The Engineers replied with a blast by sophomore Christian Jamison (Huntington, N.Y.) and a man-up goal from classmate Graham Davis (Crofton, Md.) to reclaim the lead with 6:25 remaining. Clark then scored twice during the final three minutes to enter the intermission with a 5-4 advantage. Junior Rishi Singh (Sterling, Mass.) evened things up on pass from classmate Matthew Sullivan (Brunswick, Maine) while a solo effort by fellow junior Andrew Myhre (Middlebury, Vt.) put the visitors in front.

The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair as it ended in a 6-6 deadlock. Stolzenberg set up junior Michael Traub (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) after four minutes elapsed but the visitors inched ahead on a goal from junior Isaac Bass (Amherst, Mass.) with 4:28 left. MIT produced the fifth tie of the day when Davis connected on a feed from senior Paul Orrson (Baltimore, Md.).

Clark reclaimed the one-goal lead at the 9:14 mark of the fourth quarter courtesy of a blast by sophomore Will Mandracchia (Melrose, Mass.). The Engineers battled back as goals from Orrson and Verdi resulted in an 8-7 advantage with 6:29 left to play. The Cougars dominated the action following the ensuing faceoff but they didn't capitalize on the momentum until junior Lucas Petricone-Berg (Nyack, N.Y.) found King for the man-up score with four ticks left.

In the extra session, both teams produced two shots but they were off the mark. MIT gained possession with 10 seconds to go and then used a timeout. Once action resumed, Verdi barreled towards the net for the game-winner.

Stolzenberg finished with two goals and an assist while Davis and Verdi both scored twice. Traub totaled one goal and two assists as Jamison gathered four groundballs. Junior TJ Burns (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) and freshman Aubrey Toland (Princeton, N.J.) both posted three groundballs while freshman Mitchell Galer (Westlake, Village, Calif.) was 10-of-20 in faceoffs and picked up four groundballs. In net, senior Eric Bartell (San Diego, Calif.) generated 12 saves and three groundballs.

Johnson and Mandracchia both contributed one goal and one assist to the visitors' balanced attack. Freshman Patrick Campell (Duxbury, Mass.) scooped up four groundballs while senior Alex Turgeon (Holden, Mass.) won 10 of his 20 faceoff attempts. Sophomore Will Roberts (Paxton, Mass.) bolstered the defense with two caused turnovers as junior Drew Riopelle-Tyrell (Northville, Mich.) tallied 12 saves and a game-high five groundballs.

Both squads are back in NEWMAC action on Wednesday, April 20. MIT (9-3, 2-1 NEWMAC) will visit local foe Emerson College while Clark (8-3, 1-2 NEWMAC) will host the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.