Denver Wins in OT After Controversial Finish to Regulation


Denver's players celebrate after defeating Towson 11-10 in overtime Saturday at Peter Barton Stadium — a celebration delayed by officials who overturned an apparent buzzer-beater at the end of regulation.

There must be something about Denver that invites late-game intrigue.

After an apparent buzzer-beater by Colton McCaffrey at the end of regulation was waved in a controversial decision by the officials, Colin Rutan made it a moot point with the game-winning goal in overtime, as No. 5 Denver escaped Saturday with an 11-10 victory over Towson at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

After a scoreless first quarter, the visiting Tigers jumped ahead 5-1 before the Pioneers got finally got their offense untracked in the third quarter. Denver responded to the four-goal deficit with an 8-1 run spanning from 8:50 in the third quarter to 12:45 in the fourth quarter to take a 9-6 lead. Ethan Walker scored the first three goals in the run and finished with a game-high five goals.

Faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste, who dominated with a 21-for-24 performance, got in on the scoring with two unanswered goals that put Denver ahead.

The Pioneers led 9-6 in the fourth quarter, but Towson rallied by scoring four of the last five goals in regulation. Matt Sovero tied it at 10 with 29 seconds remaining.

On the final possession of regulation, McCaffrey appeared to beat the clock by getting off his shot with 0.4 seconds remaining.  But officials overturned the goal.

“The refs said that the ball didn’t go in the goal until after the buzzer,” Denver coach Bill Tierney said in a video interview with Let’s Go DU. “But the rule is, if you shoot it before the buzzer, it’s a goal. Thankfully, Colin Rutan makes a great play at the end.”

In last year’s NCAA semifinals against Maryland, Denver’s Connor Donahue had a spectacular diving effort and game-tying goal nullified because he landed in the crease, prompting Tierney to say the dive maneuver should again be legal in college lacrosse. Maryland won 9-8 and went on to defeat Ohio State in the NCAA championship game.

St. John’s Stuns Hofstra

Colin Duffy scored with three seconds remaining to cap a three-goal fourth-quarter  rally and lift St. John’s to a 9-8 victory over No. 13 Hofstra — the Red Storm’s first win over a nationally ranked opponent since they shocked No. 1 Notre Dame in 2013.

St. John’s had lost 21 straight games against ranked foes before Saturday. The Red Storm have won four straight games and are 5-0 at home for the first time since the program’s reinstatement in 2005. Joe Madsen led the way with three goals to give him a team-high 21 goals this season.

St. John’s trailed 8-6 entering the fourth quarter, thanks largely to a six-goal performance by Hofstra’s Dylan McIntosh and the hot hand of Pride goalie Jack Concannon (10 saves). But the Red Storm broke through in the final 15 minutes. Mike Madsen and Joe Madsen scored 78 seconds apart to tie it at 8 with 10:54 remaining. The score remained that way until Duffy scored while falling to the turf to win it in the waning seconds.

Cornell Hangs 20 on Penn

Cornell erupted for 20 goals against the traditionally strong Penn defense, finishing on a 9-2 run to upset the No. 12 Quakers 20-13 at Franklin Field on Saturday. Jeff Teat (six goals, two assists) and Jake McCulloch (five goals, three assists) paced the Big Red with eight points apiece, while Paul Rasimowicz won 21 of 36 faceoffs.

The Quakers led 11-9 with 9:02 remaining in the third quarter. The decisive run began just moments later with a great individual effort goal by Teat, who took the ball down the right alley, rolled back to his left, then quickly rolled back to his right and beat Reed Junkin from close range. Cornell won the restart on a Penn violation and just over a minute later knotted the game at 11 when McCulloch picked up a loose ball on the crease and quickly converted. The visitors tacked on three more, including a shot-clock goal, to take the 14-11 lead into the final break. 

Penn stopped the 5-0 run with a goal early in the fourth quarter, but back-to-back man-up goals pushed Cornell's lead to 16-12, before the Quakers scored its final goal of the game with 5:20 to go in the contest.

The visitors put an exclamation point on the victory with the final four goals of the contest, including the first goal of the season by sophomore defenseman Brandon Salvatore.

The 20 goals scored were the most for Cornell against Penn since beating the Quakers 21-11 during the 2009 season.

Marquette’s Wagner Delivers in Clutch Again

John Wagner scored his third game-winner of the season 35 seconds into overtime to lift Marquette to a 9-8 win over visiting No. 16 Georgetown in its Big East opener Saturday.

Wagner, who did not practice the last two days due to illness, posted four goals including the game-winner on a dodge down the right side. His other game-winners this season came in the season opener against Jacksonville with under 10 seconds remaining and in overtime against Ohio State on March 2.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Top 20 Scoreboard

No. 1 Albany 13, UMass-Lowell 6
No. 17 Syracuse 15, No. 2 Duke 14
No. 3 Maryland vs. No. 19 North Carolina – 10 p.m. ET
No. 5 Denver 11, Towson 10 (OT)
No. 6 Yale 16, Princeton 8
No. 20 Bucknell 12, No. 7 Loyola 8
No. 8 Johns Hopkins 15, No. 10 Virginia 13
No. 9 Villanova 13, Fairfield 12 (OT)
No. 11 Rutgers 15, Delaware 10
Cornell 20, No. 12 Penn 13
St. John’s 9, No. 13 Hofstra 8
Navy 10, No. 14 Lehigh 7
Colgate 8, No. 15 Army 6
Marquette 9, No. 16 Georgetown 8 (OT)
No. 18 Harvard 10, Dartmouth 8

New No. 1 in D-II

Second-ranked Le Moyne clamped down on top-ranked Merrimack, limiting the explosive Warriors offense to just one goal in the second half and blanking them for the final 25:23 in an 8-5 victory Saturday. Le Moyne should be the new No. 1 in Division II men’s lacrosse when the national polls come out Monday. Merrimack came into the game averaging 14.75 goals per game.

York Bounces Salisbury

York staked its claim to CAC supremacy Saturday, defeating Salisbury 15-6 in a top-10 Division III men’s lacrosse showdown. The No. 2 Spartans tallied three goals during a two-minute non-releasable penalty early in the third quarter that turned the tide of the game. The loss snaps No. 8 Salisbury's 27-game regular-season conference win streak. Ryan Cook led York with three goals and two assists.

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