BALTIMORE, Md. – Senior captain PJ Kelleher (Walpole, Mass.) factored into seven goals and scored the game-winning marker to help lead the Connecticut College men's lacrosse team to an 18-17 victory over Southern Virginia on Wednesday afternoon at Johns Hopkins University's historic Homewood Field.
In a nip-and-tuck game that featured 10 ties and four lead changes, Connecticut College found itself trailing by a 15-13 score after Chandler Westcott found the back of the net with 8:32 remaining in regulation. Junior Ryan Fish (Slingerlands, N.Y.), however, kickstarted a 4-0 run by scoring just 20 seconds later following a faceoff victory by sophomore Toby Almeida (Cumberland, R.I.). Southern Virginia scored the next two goals to lock the score at 17s with 3:48 on the clock, but another faceoff win by Almeida set the stage for Kelleher to provide the heroics in 17 seconds.
With the board still reading 18-17 in favor of the Camels, the scoreless final minute provided lots of drama. Connecticut College successfully cleared the ball and took a timeout with 35 seconds left with possession in its offensive end following a ground ball pickup by senior captain TJ Noonan (Wellesley, Mass.). The Knights' Jacob Lamb was able to force junior Brandon Plante (Urbana, Md.) to cough up the ball, but Lamb lost it shortly afterwards, allowing the Camels to escape with the win.
A 10-goal first quarter between the teams set the tone for how the game would play out with the offenses taking full control. Senior Tommy Wynn (Wellesley, Mass.) opened the scoring by finishing a pass from Kelleher, beginning a stretch that saw Southern Virginia take a 4-2 advantage before the match was even five minutes old. Even though the Knights maintained a two-goal advantage and led 6-4 at the break, Connecticut College scored four times in the second quarter to send the teams into recess tied at 8-all. After five more ties and two more exchanges of the lead, the Camels eventually survived by having Kelleher complete a hat trick with under four minutes left.
Connecticut College picked up its second non-conference win in as many tries by most notably dominating the faceoff circle. Almeida was successful on 31 of his 36 attempts, while Sam Zanelli (Summit, N.J.) won his only attempt. Kelleher registered a team-high seven points on three goals to go along with four assists, and senior Jordan Foster (Las Vegas, Nev.) found the back of the net five times. Sean Smith added a hat trick and Almeida picked up 26 ground balls, while junior Colin Smith (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) made 16 saves between the posts.
Zach Danneman registered seven goals and two assists to pace Southern Virginia (3-5), which outshot the Camels by a 51-32 margin and caused 17 turnovers. Shawn Lamb added three goals, three helpers, and was among three Knights to cause three turnovers defensively. Wescott contributed thee goals and four assists.
Connecticut College (2-2) returns home to host Williams on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.