March 18, 2014

Trinity steals one from Fords in OT thriller

HAVERFORD, Pa. – A reversal of fortunes turned Tuesday's non-conference men's lacrosse game into a thriller -- which included a game-tying, overtime-sending goal with 1.7 seconds remaining in the fourth period from Haverford College's Chris Christensen -- but visiting Trinity (Conn.) College stole the win in the extra period to take away a 9-8 overtime victory over the Fords at chilly Swan Field.

Haverford (1-5) trailed the Bantams (2-3) by a count of 6-2 halfway through the second period after the visitors reeled off four unanswered markers over a span of not quite eight minutes.

Jack Russ helped kick-start Haverford's come-back with his first collegiate goal, scoring off a feed from Hunter Sentner at the 7:45 mark of the second.

Two minutes later the Fords' Christian Clay tallied his team-leading ninth goal of the season to pull Haverford within two, 6-4, a deficit the home team was happy to carry into the halftime break given Trinity's earlier successes in the period.

Following a scoreless third period the Bantams stretched their advantage to three, 7-4, in the early minutes of the fourth but the Fords battled back scoring three straight including the tying goal with 5:44 remaining from Tav Hafner off a feed from behind the goal by Christensen.

Seth Bird's goal with 59 ticks left put Trinity back on top and seemed to quiet the Haverford rally but Andrew Dalke won the ensuing faceoff to set up Christensen's heroics.

The last-second tying goal actually came off a loose ball that Trinity allowed Christensen to fetch after the Bantams had fought back Haverford's scoring thrusts following the Dalke faceoff victory.

Unencumbered, with the clock winding toward the buzzer and the Trinity defense packed in tight in front of its cage, Christensen whirled to face the goal from just outside the restraining line. He swung out to his left and unleashed a low side-winder shot that skipped off the turf a few feet in front of the cage then under Bantams goalie Mickey Zaverucha into the back of the goal netting, sending the home team bench into celebration while the visiting bench grew quiet with gloved hands holding onto stunned, helmeted heads.

Unfortunately for Haverford the overtime faceoff went Trinity's way and the ball never left the Fords' defensive end during extra time. Goalie Eric Caliendo came up with a Haverford save on the Bantams' first shot in the OT but Chase Growney, who scored the opening goal of the game to put the visitors ahead in the first period, snapped home a feed from Stefan Pappas in the extra period's second minute to close out the win for the visitors and spoil the rally by the pesky Fords.

Caliendo finished the game with 13 saves, including five in the scoreless third period, while Zaverucha came up with 10 stops to earn the win between the pipes for Trinity.

Clay and Jack Bodine led the Haverford attack with two goals apiece. Growney shared team-high honors with James O'Connell as each scored twice during the Bantams' win.

Haverford won the battle at the dot winning 11 of 19 faceoffs with Dalke coming up with 10 of those wins for the Fords.

Tuesday's contest marks the end of the Fords' non-conference schedule. Next up for Haverford is a Saturday visit from 19th-ranked Gettysburg College in the Centennial Conference opener for both squads.