MEN’S LACROSSE | OT goal finishes off Seawolves

Midfielder Harry Kucharczyk’s ’15 overtime goal led the Bulldogs to a win over Stony Brook on Monday night.
Midfielder Harry Kucharczyk’s ’15 overtime goal led the Bulldogs to a win over Stony Brook on Monday night. Photo by Frederick Frank.

Another late offensive push propelled the No. 15 men’s hockey team to an overtime win against Stony Brook — the Bulldogs’ fifth straight victory.

Midfielder Shane Thorton ’15 scored the opening goal of the Monday contest, his fourth of the season, but Yale (8-3, 3-2 Ivy) was never in the lead again until midfielder Harry Kucharczyk’s ’15 overtime winner.

“No personal gains for myself,” Kucharczyk said. “We pride ourselves on being grinders and always playing tough. Hustle plays kept us in that game. It’s most likely the last time the seniors play at Reese Stadium so that game was for them. They’ve been great role models and leaders and I am just happy we could give them the win.”

The game required quite a fight from the Elis, who managed to win in an even more dramatic fashion than in the team’s previous comeback against Brown last Friday, when Yale trailed late into the fourth quarter. This time, the Bulldogs found themselves in a 7-3 hole against the Seawolves (6-7, 1-2 AE) almost halfway through the third quarter. But Yale scored six fourth-quarter goals, including two from leading goal-scorer Brandon Mangan ’14.

Despite having 11 shots in the contest, attackman Conrad Oberbeck ’15 was held without a goal until he tied the game at 10-10 with under two minutes to play in regulation. Then, with a 1:24 left in overtime, Kucharczyk found himself wide open and stepped up to rip a long shot into the cage and clinch a huge come-from-behind win for the Elis. The game featured nine different scorers and a 10-save performance from Eric Natale ’15.

“We have relied on communication and trusting each other to execute late in games when we are tired,” defenseman Michael Quinn ’16 said. “We know what our offense is capable of and how talented they are.”

Monday’s game marked Stony Brook’s third overtime competition this season, of which the Seawolves have only won one — a three-overtime win over Rutgers on March 2. Stony Brook capitalized on Yale’s first-half penalties, scoring on two of their three man-up opportunities, and took a 5-3 lead into halftime. Attackman Mike Rooney led the pack and tallied five of his six points with three assists and two goals in the first half.

But the Bulldogs returned to the field and improved defensively in the second half by committing zero penalties, going 7-7 on clears, and dominating the ground ball battle. The offense eventually came through as well, once more powered by Mangan who tallied his second straight hat-trick and ended up with five points, three goals and two assists, including two goals in the fourth quarter.

“We definitely need to do some work on the defensive end,” captain Michael McCormack ’13 said. “It’s reassuring that our offense has been able to score some big goals late in games and I think that this overtime comeback will help from a game experience standpoint as the season continues.”

The Elis will look to continue their win streak versus No. 4 Maryland at Capital One Field in Maryland this Saturday at noon.

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