WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior James Olsen scored the game-winning goal with 2:53 to play in double-overtime to lead the #17-ranked Saint Anselm College men's lacrosse team to a thrilling 14-13 victory over #20 Bentley University on Saturday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference action.
The Hawks improve to 8-4 overall and 7-3 in the NE10 and have now won four-straight games headed into the regular season finale next Saturday against #3 Merrimack College at 7 p.m. at Grappone Stadium. Bentley drops to 5-6 and 4-5 overall with the setback.
Mark Vitello led the Saint Anselm offense with four goals, while James Olsen had two goals and two assists for a four-point day. Dylan Ryan added two goals and an assist, while Teo Olsen and Patrick Sweeney each scored twice. Anthony Busconi and Xavier Quinn added a goal and an assist apiece.
Defensively, Lucas DeAngelo had another strong game between the pipes for Saint Anselm, stopping 12 shots in the game. Brennan Quackenbush caused three turnovers and had five groundballs, while Derrick LaBranche scooped up a team-best seven groundballs on the day.
The Falcons were led by five goals from John Wheeler, with David Phelps adding two scores and Alex Astarita recording a pair of goals to go with an assist. Robert Hamerman suffered the setback in goal while stopping 14 shots in the loss.
Bentley scored the first two goals of the game as Joe DiRaimo and John Wheeler both found the back of the net to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead with 7:17 to play in the first quarter. Mark Vitello got one back for the Hawks, but Bentley scored twice in the final 1:15 of the frame to take a 4-1 lead into the second stanza.
After the Falcons scored with 9:51 to play in the half to make it a 5-1 advantage, the Hawks answered with three-straight tallies off the sticks of James Olsen, Dylan Ryan and Xavier Quinn to make it a 5-4 game with 5:42 remaining. Bentley ended the run with a goal by Chris Wiggins, but Dylan Ryan scored with 1:36 to play in the second quarter to make it a 6-5 deficit at the half.
The Hawks dominated the third quarter as they outscored Bentley 6-2 in the frame to hold an 11-8 lead headed into the final period. Patrick Sweeney and Mark Vitello each scored twice in the frame, with Teo Olsen and Anthony Busconi also adding tallies.
Vitello extended the lead to 12-8 only 34 seconds into the fourth quarter, but this time Bentley had the huge run in them as they scored four times over a two minute span to tie the game at 12-12 with 9:02 to play. Teo Olsen scored again for the Hawks at the 8:48 mark to put Saint Anselm back on top, 13-12.
Both defenses turned up the intensity over the next eight-plus minutes as neither team would produce a goal until the final minute of the quarter. With less than a minute to play, John Wheeler was able to work free for Bentley and tuck a shot just inside the far post to knot the game at 13-13 and send the game into overtime.
Bentley won the opening face-off of the overtime, but Patrick Sweeney was able to intercept a pass from Robert Hamerman. Sweeney came down field, beating the last defender, and burying a shot top shelf, but the official called off the goal for Sweeney having his foot in the crease.
The Falcons had an empty possession, and Saint Anselm was able to get a clear and call a timeout to draw up a play.
Out of the stoppage, the two teams traded turnovers before the Hawks regained possession with less than a minute to play. Saint Anselm made one final push at goal, but a give-and-go play was swatted down by Bentley as time ran out on the first overtime.
The Hawks won the face-off to start the second overtime and it eventually led to a shot for Anthony Busconi that went wide. Bentley was awarded the possession, but turned the ball over leading to a fast break for Saint Anselm. Sweeney forced the turnover and then came down the left side after a pass from Brennan Quackenbush and dropped a pass off to James Olsen.
Olsen had his first attempt saved by Hamerman, but the rebound popped right back to him and he buried a low shot to give the Hawks the thrilling 14-13 double-overtime victory.
Bentley held a 48-44 edge in shots in the game, while Saint Anselm won the groundball-battle, 38-33. The Hawks also committed only 14 turnovers to 18 for the home team, but the Falcons controlled the face-offs in the game, winning 18-of-31 draws. Both teams were effective on clears as the Hawks went 22-for-25 while Bentley was 17-of-20.
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