BOSTON, Mass. – In a back-and-forth affair, the MIT men's lacrosse team came out on top with a 9-8 double overtime victory over UMass Boston on Tuesday afternoon. Freshman Jake Slonaker (West Windsor, N.J.) netted the game-winner 57 seconds into the second extra session to complete the hat-trick for the Engineers.
Junior Gabe Blanchet (Hadley, Mass.) put MIT on the board after 1:11 elapsed but the Beacons scored twice in a three-minute span to claim the lead at the 9:55 mark. The game became a defensive battle until sophomore Ben Hessels (Laytonsville, Md.) found the back of the net with 5:12 left in the second quarter. After winning the ensuing face-off, sophomore Joel Santisteban (Lawrence, N.Y.) made an uncontested bid at the net to put the Engineers in front, 3-2. Junior Mike Gibson (Natick, Mass.) quickly followed with a solo effort of his own.
UMass Boston ended its scoring drought with a man-up marker at 3:23; however, freshman Bill Kelleher (Pittsburgh, Pa.) connected on a feed from junior goalie Christopher Rullan (Wexford, Pa.) less than a minute later. The hosts then registered back-to-back goals to close out the half and even the score at five.
Both teams traded goals throughout the third quarter, resulting in a deadlock at seven heading into the fourth frame. Slonaker was responsible for both tallies as Kelleher earned the assist on the first while Gibson found him for a man-down score.
In the fourth quarter, Hessels set up junior Sean Burke (Centennial, Colo.) for the go-ahead goal with 11:27 on the clock but the Beacons registered the equalizer six minutes later. Neither side was able to generate a shot on down the stretch, sending the game into overtime.
UMass Boston made two charges at the net in the first session; however, both efforts were off the mark. The Engineers' best attempt was a strike by Rullan which was turned away by the Beacons' goalie. In the second overtime, UMass Boston won the face-off and immediately put a shot on goal that was stopped by Rullan. Gibson brought the ball up the field and dished it off to a wide-open Slonaker who beat the Beacons' netminder to the high near post for the win.
In addition to his three-point performance, Gibson went 7-of-14 in faceoffs. Senior Bryan Beller (Dix Hills, N.Y.) compiled five caused turnovers and three groundballs while freshman Quantum Wei (Springfield, Va.) tallied five groundballs and two caused turnovers. Burke added three groundballs and one caused turnover as senior Ernie Park (Plainsboro, N.J.) and sophomore Tim Wilczynski (Old Lyme, Conn.) both chipped in two caused turnovers. In net, Rullan finished with six saves.
MIT (3-4) opens up Pilgrim Lacrosse League play with a home game against Springfield College on Saturday, April 7.