NEW LONDON, Conn. – Senior Ben Parens (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) won 19 faceoffs and scored off two of them, which included tallying the eventual game-winning marker, as the No. 20 Connecticut College men's lacrosse team earned an 11-10 victory over Colby on Saturday afternoon at Silfen Field.
Colby, which trailed 11-7 heading into the fourth quarter, clawed itself back into the game by most notably getting two man-up goals from C.J. Hassan with 5:43 and 1:05 to play. Parens won the ensuing faceoff after Hassan made it 11-10 with a minute left to give the Camels the ball, but the hosts were unable to convert in their offensive end after taking a timeout. With the Camels also battling against the shot clock, Mule goalie C.J. Layton forced sophomore attackman Maxx Trotsky (Marblehead, Mass.) to turn the ball over behind the net to give the visitors a chance.
After successfully clearing the ball, Colby called a timeout with 8.4 seconds remaining to set up one last play which would force overtime. The ball was given to the hot hand of Hassan on the right wing, but strong defense by sophomore Courtney Morgan (South Windsor, Conn.) eventually led to an errant pass that would sail out of bounds near the Colby sideline. The Camels then ran out the last few seconds of the clock and escaped with the victory.
Connecticut College (6-1, NESCAC 3-1) got on the board in the blink of an eye, as Parens won the opening faceoff, scooped up the ground ball and took it to the house to give the Camels a 1-0 advantage just seven seconds into the contest. Junior PJ Kelleher (Walpole, Mass.) most notably set up four goals in the opening quarter, which was capped by a look to sophomore Sean Smith (Pasadena, Calif.) with nine seconds left to give the hosts a 6-3 advantage through 15 minutes of action.
The Camels got two quick goals from junior Jordan Foster (Las Vegas, Nev.) and outscored the Mules by a 3-2 margin in the second quarter to take a 9-5 lead into the recess. However, the Mules clamped down on defense in the second half and slowly staged a rally.
Even though Connecticut College was able to kill off a penalty situation in which they were down two players who were called off for slashing during the same sequence late in the third, Colby would not go away. Hassan was first credited with an unassisted man-up tally when he found the back of the net with 5:43 remaining to make it 11-8. He then found Don Vivian at even strength with 2:08 left before finishing a pass from Billy Jacobs at the 1:05 mark to set up the thrilling finish which ended in the Camels' favor thanks in large part to Morgan's defensive efforts against the Mules' sophomore midfielder.
Connecticut College outshot its opponent by a 39-24 margin and had a commanding 36-18 advantage in ground balls. The Camels also won 19 of the 24 faceoffs in the game.
In addition to winning all 19 of the team's faceoffs, Parens picked up 16 ground balls and scored two goals. His most notable tally came midway through the third quarter when he blitzed through the defense and roofed a shot over the shoulder of goalie C.J. Layton just eight seconds after the Mules scored to provide the eventual deciding marker and make it 11-6 at the time. Kelleher paced the offense with six points on two goals and four assists, while junior Jameson Hill (Wilton, Conn.) turned away five shots to earn the win between the pipes.
Tucker Dietrick and Hassan led Colby (2-3, NESCAC 1-3) by factoring into four goals apiece. Graham Lian was impressive defensively by finishing the game with four ground balls to go along with four caused turnovers, and Layton finished with nine saves in net.
Connecticut College will next face a challenging non-conference test when it hosts Coast Guard on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.