Monday, December 22, 2014 - 2:46:32 AM

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OT is the trick for Bearcats

GEVENVA, N.Y. Junior attackman Paul ODonnells goal with 0:03 seconds remaining in the first OT gave the Binghamton mens lacrosse team a thrilling 11-10 road victory at Hobart. ODonnell and senior Matt Springer combined to score seven goals on Saturday and pushed the Bearcats record to an even 2-2 overall and a perfect 2-0 on the road.

With the score deadlocked at 10 in the first overtime period, Binghamton was able to force a late Hobart turnover and headed the other way. Following a difficult clear, the Bearcats elected to continue play without a timeout as Kelly Donigan beat his man off the dodge forcing an extra defender towards him. Donigan found an open ODonnell who buried the game-winner with just three seconds left on the clock in the lower corner. The goal was ODonnells third tally of the afternoon and second game-winning goal of the season.

Anytime you can get a win on the road is huge, head coach Scott Nelson said. Give our guys credit for fighting all afternoon when we were in a bit of a hole early. I thought we picked up our intensity after the first quarter and got the offense rolling which was nice to see. It was a great shot from Paul (ODonnell) who obviously has been a big factor for us early on this season and I couldnt be happier for the guys to pull this win out.

Second half action at Boswell Field on the campus of Hobart was certainly back-and-forth as there were four ties and three lead changes in the final 30 minutes of regulation. Trailing 6-5 at half, the Statesmen (0-3) buried a pair of quick goals to jump ahead 7-6 early in the third quarter. After Springers fourth goal of the day, Hobart again reeled off two more scores to claim a 9-7 advantage with 4:30 left.

Two minutes later, it was Brandon Planck who beat Hobart standout keeper Peter Zonino for his first goal of the 2014 season. In the fourth, Tucker Nelson pushed the score to an even nine goals apiece with his man-up goal at the 13:36 mark.

Following a Hobart score, Michael Antinozzi got free off a feed from Nelson. Antinozzi, who tallied three points on the day, finished with the equalizer at the 11-minute mark in the fourth.

The Bearcats outshot Hobart 7-5 down the stretch, but neither team was able to register a goal the remaining 11 minutes of the contest. In overtime, Planck blasted a shot off the post with 1:31 left as Hobart quickly picked up the ground ball and completed a successful clear. With 43 seconds left, Zach Reed committed a turnover leading to ODonnells late game heroics.

Binghamton received four goals from Springer, giving him his second hat trick of 2014 and 15th overall as a BU player. Tucker Nelson had an outstanding afternoon on attack, notching a pair of goals and three assists. He is now tied for the team-lead in points with ODonnell at 13.

Shawn Needham paced the defense, causing a pair of turnovers and picking up a career and team-high seven ground balls. Binghamton split time on the faceoff between Alex Doerflein and freshman Dan Mazurek, winning a combined 12-of-25. Max Schefler made 13 saves in net, including nine in the first half.  The Bearcats lost the ground ball battle (39-26), but made a season-low seven turnovers and also scored a season-best 11 goals.

I thought we played an extremely smart game today, Nelson explained. A big key to the game was limiting our turnovers. We had just seven all afternoon against a really tough defense. On our end, the defense really stepped up down the stretch. They did a great job of holding them scoreless for the final 16 minutes and really gave our offense a chance to go out there and win the game for us.

In first half play, Hobart started off strong by taking a 4-2 lead after the first quarter. Binghamton faced their biggest deficit all day at 5-2, but responded with a 4-0 run to go ahead 6-5 at half. Three of the four goals scored in the quarter went to Springer who now has 105 career goals to his name.

Alex Love scored a game-high five goals for the hosts. He tallied five goals on five shots and also had six ground balls in a losing effort. In addition, senior goalie Peter Zonino was in double digits in saves (12) for the third consecutive game this season.

With the victory, Binghamton moves to 4-5 all-time versus Hobart and collected their first road win in program history over the Statesmen. Up next for the Bearcats is a home game against Delaware on Saturday, March 8 at 1 p.m.. The game will be the first of a double header with the Binghamton women who take on St. Bonaventure at 3:30 p.m.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)

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