NEWTON, Mass. – Sophomore Peter Hardy (Tyngsboro, Mass.) scored with 1:17 remaining in the third period of sudden death overtime and Mount Ida College beat Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) rival Norwich University 5-4 in a wild men’s lacrosse game on Tuesday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Hardy’s eight goal of the season, assisted by senior Joe Galante (Framingham, Mass.), capped a game in which the Mustangs three times came back from a goal down to tie the game and helped the Mustangs beat Norwich for the first time in their last five tries.
Mount Ida sophomore Jon Berry (Chichester, N.H.) evened the game at four goals apiece with his third goal of the season at the 3:10 mark and then had an incredible chance to win the game in the final seconds when he found himself face to face with Norwich senior goalie Ryan Fecteau (Danvers, Mass.), but put the ball just over the bar to send the teams to the extra periods, where they played 10:43 more minutes of scoreless lacrosse.
Nine different players scored goals between the two teams, with Norwich taking the only two-goal lead of the game in the first quarter on tallies by Seth Fuller (Wheaton, Ill.) and Jared Thompson (Linthicum, Md.), the latter coming with just six seconds left in the opening frame.
The second quarter nearly went scoreless as well but the Mustangs were able to cut the Norwich deficit in half in the final second of the half when Wyatt Sullivan (Arlington, Mass.) found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the year.
The Mustangs tied the game mid-way through the third quarter through Ryan Trinque’s (East Greenwich, R.I.) first goal of the season.
The visitors re-took the lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter on a man-up goal scored by Victor Bill (Nazareth, Pa.), with the assist coming from freshman Michael Cashman (East Kingston, N.H.), who would also score a goal later in the period to reclaim the lead again for Norwich after Mustang senior Shaun Royce (South Windsor, Conn.) had tied the game at three with a tally with 10:03 left in regulation.
Berry tied the game on a shot from high at the top of the arc after taking the pass from freshman Austin Phillips (Haverhill, Mass.), who earned his first helper of the season.
Norwich held the ball for nearly the entire first four-minute overtime session but only got one shot on Mustang sophomore Tyler McElreath (Upton, Mass.), who made an important and impressive save.
The Mustangs dodged a minute and a half of penalty time over the second and third overtimes and eventually outshot the Cadets in the extra frames 7-5.
McElreath made six saves in improving to 2-2 on the year, while Fecteau dropped to 2-3 despite a 12-save effort.
Mustang freshman Cam Hayward (Derry, N.H.) made three saves and allowed just two goals against in the first thirty minutes of action.
Mount Ida freshman Alex Zito (Marlboro, Conn.) edged Norwich senior Andrew Bracy (Carthage, N.Y.) 7-6 in face-off attempts.
Senior Kyle Fernitz (Northbrook, Ill.) caused four turnovers and picked up four ground balls, while freshman Jason Cousineau (Upton, Mass.) caused three turnovers and also picked up four ground balls in the victory.
Each team scored just once on their extra man opportunities, with Norwich having eight man-up tires and the Mustangs having seven.
The Mustangs win their second straight conference game and improve to 3-1 in the GNAC (3-4 overall). They hit the road this weekend for a 12:00 PM meeting with Albertus Magnus College.
Norwich drops to 5-3 (3-2 GNAC) and will play outside of the conference on Thursday when they host in-state rivals Castleton at 7:00 PM.