Men’s lacrosse advances to NEC Championship in double-overtime thriller
Oppenheimer's hat trick in final minutes and Haggerty's man-down goal in double-overtime carry Bobcats to 12-11 victory
The Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team was staring at elimination with 2:50 remaining in its Northeast Conference semifinal game against Robert Morris.
But senior Jack Oppenheimer wasn’t letting his final season end that way. With 2:50 remaining in regulation, and down 11-8, Oppenheimer scored three of his five goals, including the game-tying goal as time expired in regulation, to send the game into overtime.
Neither team scored in overtime, but in double-overtime, and with a man down, Christian Haggerty fired a shorthanded, game-winning goal from 15 yards out to advance the Bobcats to the NEC Championship game with a 12-11 victory.
Guiseppe Palermo scooped a ground ball up on a Robert Morris turnover and led Haggerty to get in position to score the game-winner with 3:39 in the second overtime period.
The victory sets up a match up against No. 1 Mount Saint Mary’s on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for the NEC title at Waldron Family Stadium in Emittsburg, Md.
Oppenheimer finished with a game-high five goals for the Bobcats. His final three coming at the most opportune time. After narrowing the deficit to one goal, Quinnipiac head coach Eric Fekete called a timeout with nine seconds in regulation. Out of the timeout Oppenheimer received the ball, moved toward the net, and beat Colonial goaltender Charles Ruppert low to tie the game as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Bobcats goaltender Kevin Benzing made 13 saves, including five crucial, clutch saves in the first overtime period to help send the Bobcats into the championship game.
Haggerty finished with two goals and two assists, while Robert Morris was led Corbyn Tao-Brambleby and Kiel Matisz with three goals each.
The Colonials opened the game with the first goal 16 seconds into the game, but the Bobcats responded by going on an 8-4 run.
Trevor Moore finished the first half with a goal, and the Colonials took that momentum into the second half, completing a 6-0 run to take an 11-8 lead, which lasted until Oppenheimer’s late game heroics.