Men's Roundup: Bucknell, Vermont Rally for Wins

PHOTO BY KEVIN P. TUCKER

Sean O'Brien scored three of his six goals in the fourth quarter, as Bucknell rallied from five goals down to defeat Delaware 14-13 in Newark, Del., on Saturday.


For most of the game, it looked like the Bob Shillinglaw farewell tour would start off with a win. But visiting Bucknell rallied from a five-goal second-half deficit to defeat Delaware 14-13 in both men’s lacrosse teams’ season opener Saturday.

Sean O’Brien sparked the comeback, scoring three of his game-high six goals in the fourth quarter. Reed Malas (three goals and two assists) and Will Sands (two goals and five assists) also got hot in the second half.

The Blue Hens, who averaged just 8.16 goals per game in 2016, led 11-6 with 7:57 remaining in the third quarter, but managed just two more goals over the final 23 minutes.

“It’s a game of spurts,” said Shillinglaw, the Delaware coach who announced Thursday he would retire at the end of the season after nearly 40 years at the helm. “They were disappointed to have the opportunity slip away today, so we will learn from this experience. One down, let’s keep going. “

Bucknell outshot the Blue Hens 30-12 in the second half, and held a 54-35 shot advantage overall.

The Bison used a 9-1 run to take a 14-12 lead in the fourth quarter. Delaware’s Joe Eisele scored his third goal of the game with 1:14 remaining to bring the Blue Hens within one, but Eisele’s potential game-tying shot on the next possession sailed high and Delaware turned the ball over the final seconds.

Andrew Romagnoli and Charlie Kitchen led the Blue Hens with four goals apiece. Kitchen became the first freshman in Delaware history to score four goals in his collegiate debut.

PHOTO BY ANDY LEWIS

Vermont kicks back for a team photo after earning their second overtime victory in three days.

Cardiac Catamounts

Vermont has ushered in the Chris Feifs era with a pair of palpitating victories, both in overtime.

After defeating Furman in overtime in the NCAA opener Thursday, the Catamounts overcame a sluggish start at Mercer and defeated the Bears 13-12 on Matt Gudas’ game-winning goal with 2:28 remaining in double overtime Saturday.

Vermont, which trailed by five goals against Furman, erased another five-goal deficit en route to its second straight win. Mercer jumped to a 7-2 lead and held an 11-7 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

Man-up goals by Dawes Milchling and Rob Hudson sparked the Catamounts’ comeback.

For the second straight game, freshman Ben French scored the game-tying goal and senior Cam Milligan assisted the game-winning goal.







Worth the Wait

Justin Anderson, one of the top recruits in the Class of 2014 who delayed his college career two years to serve a two-year Mormon mission in Chile, scored a hat trick in his NCAA debut Saturday, as No. 3 North Carolina started its NCAA championship defense with a convincing 17-6 win over UMBC.

The game was moved from Chapel Hill to Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C., due to an emergency water shortage in Orange County.

The Tar Heels led 10-1 after the first quarter and never looked back. Anderson, a first-line midfielder, finished with three goals and an assist.

Anderson wasn't the only player who shone in his collegiate debut Saturday. Penn State freshman attackman Mac O'Keefe, a U.S. U19 team standout, dropped seven goals on Robert Morris. The No. 15 Nittany Lions opened with a 15-11 victory.

Saturday Scoreboard

No. 3 North Carolina 17, UMBC 6
No. 15 Penn State 15, Robert Morris 11
Bucknell 14, Delaware 13
Vermont 13, Mercer 12 (OT)
Lehigh 15, NJIT 5
Bryant 17, Manhattan 10
Boston University 8, Providence 7 (2OT)

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