March 21, 2013

MLAX: LIONS STUN PRIDE IN DOUBLE-OT, 9-8

WESTON, Mass. – Emerson College's Benjamin Byrd (Richardson, Texas) scored with 1:40 remaining in the second overtime to lead the Lions to a 9-8 victory over Regis College in men's lacrosse action on a cold and snowy night in Weston, Mass. Regis falls to 2-4 on the year, while Emerson picks up its first win of 2013 to improve to 1-1.

The Pride struck first in the opening quarter as Nicky Rodrigo (Miami, Fla.) found Matt Vogan (Belmont, Mass.) for the first two goals of the game to stake the Pride to an early 2-0 lead. Following an Emerson turnover, Nick Dallas (Huntington Beach, Calif.) scooped up the ground ball and raced down the field on a fastbreak. Dallas found Rodrigo ahead of the Lions defense, and the freshman beat the Emerson keeper one-on-one to push the Pride lead to 3-0.

In the second quarter, the Lions answered with a pair of unassisted goals by Nicholas Kitsos (Summit, N.J.) and Byrd to make it a 3-2 game with 7:05 left in the half. Vogan answered with his third goal of the game off a pass from Andrew O'Reilly (Hollis, N.H.) to put the Pride back on top 4-2 headed into the intermission.

Coming out of the break, Jack O'Brien (Milton, Mass.) entered the scoring column as Peter Leighton (Wilmington, Mass.) found O'Brien with a quick pass on the goal line to push the Regis advantage to 5-2. On the ensuing Emerson possession, Byrd took a swing pass from Kitsos and ripped a shot top shelf to make it a 5-3 game. A minute later, Leighton corralled a loose ball behind the cage and knifed his way through the Emerson defense and beat the Lions keeper with a low shot to put Regis back on top by three.

Tyler Hastings' (Levittown, N.Y.) tally on a pass from Byrd with 3:22 remaining in the quarter began a 4-0 run for the Lions that extended into the fourth period. Max Smith (Gillette, N.J.) scored back-to-back goals during the run to tie it at 6-all, and Nicholas Kitsos put the Lions on top 7-6 as he placed a bounce shot from 15 yards out past the Pride keeper with 7:20 to play in regulation.

Vogan answered for the Pride as he scooped up a groundball off a turnover in the Emerson zone and scored on the open net to tie it the score at 7-7. Rodrigo put the Pride back on top nearly 1:30 later as he cut through the Lions defense and rolled a low shot past the keeper to give Regis a late 8-7 lead. Emerson responded with only 1:51 to play as Byrd found Eric Colleran (Fairfield, Conn.) on the goal line for a quick shot to tie the score at 8-8 and force the extra period.

After a quiet first overtime that saw the teams only combine for three shots, Jack O'Brien began the second overtime with a shot that was turned away by Clayton Fisk. Following a timeout by the Lions on the ensuing clear, Emerson drew up a play that led to a quick pass from Brady Darragh (Bayport, N.Y.) to Byrd, who beat Morgan Ford (Smyrna, Ga.) top shelf and sent the Lions home with a 9-8 win.

Regis outshot Emerson at a 50-32 clip and also held a 37-25 advantage in groundballs. Both teams committed 22 turnovers, while Regis was 13-for-19 on clears compared to a 16-for-25 showing from the Lions.

Matt Vogan led the Pride attack with four goals on the night. Nicky Rodrigo added two goals and two assists, while Jack O'Brien and Peter Leighton added the other tallies. O'Briend led the Pride defense with 11 groundballs, while Dan Hammond (Mansfield, Mass.) added four groundballs and four caused turnovers. Morgan Ford suffered the setback in net, making 10 saves on the night.

Benjamin Byrd finished the night with five points on three goals and a pair of assists. Nicholas Kitsos and Max Smith added two goals apiece, while Eric Colleran and Tyler Hastings added the other two scores for the Lions. Clayton Fisk picked up the win, making 19 saves and picking up a team-high six groundballs. Harry Whitney (New York, N.Y.) caused four turnovers.

The Pride return to action on Saturday afternoon as Regis hosts Mitchell College in a New England Collegiate Conference matchup scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Emerson will take on Daniel Webster College on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

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