The Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team (4-3, 1-0 MAAC) and the Hartford Hawks (1-7, 1-0 AE) played an overtime thriller at the Quinnipiac Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium in Hamden on Tuesday afternoon that ended with Quinnipiac winning 17-16.
The game was back and forth all the way until the end of the fourth quarter. Neither team was able to maintain momentum enough to pull away at any point.
“Hartford’s a phenomenal team, they have a lot of good midfielders, real shifty guys,” first-year head coach Mason Poli said. “They were able to fight back but again, our resiliency there to lose those leads, go down in the end and be able to pull it out, it was amazing.”
[media-credit name=”Morgan Tencza” align=”alignright” width=”291″][/media-credit]The first quarter was chock full of goals as the teams combined for 11 total. Both Quinnipiac’s senior attack Foster Cuomo and Hartford’s senior attack Alex Borja netted hat tricks in the first. Cuomo finished the game with a career-high seven goals in the contest.
After a back and forth first quarter, Quinnipiac went on a tear during the second, scoring six straight unanswered goals spanning eight minutes and 51 seconds.
“Just shows that [we are] understanding the overall picture and the ability to keep calm in those situations, not overreact,” Poli said. “I think it’s going to be big for us going down the line.”
During its run, Cuomo scored a highlight reel goal by swinging around the crease and slinging the ball with one hand on the stick five-hole past the netminder.
“[Cuomo] is a spectacular player. I’m in awe of him in practice every day. That one-handed shot from 15 yards is something we see every day,” Poli said. “Foster is so gifted and special at what he can do. I think three of those goals could be up on top 10 tomorrow on SportsCenter.”
Hartford gained some momentum by scoring within two minutes before halftime, making it an 11-8 game.
The first half of the third quarter was all about the goalies. Both Quinnipiac’s freshman goaltender Nick DiMucci and Hartford ’s freshman goaltender Cam Logan made some timely saves hoping to keep their team in the game or on top of it.
Hartford made several attempts at a comeback in the second half as it shifted its defensive arrangements, trying to slow down the vast amount of scoring attackers for Quinnipiac.
The mid-game adjustment began to work as Hartford clawed its way back from being down 12-8 and then 14-11. Eventually, in the fourth, the Hawks was able to tie the game up at 15 and then take the lead with just over two minutes remaining.
Quinnipiac showed some grit and composure as it would not let Hartford steal the game in the last minute. Quinnipiac’s team-leading scorer, sophomore attack Jake Tomsik, scored his first of the game, tying it up nearly thirty seconds after the Hartford leading goal.
“It wasn’t as much Hartford shutting me down, as it was our team,” Tomsik said. “Our whole team is back, so there are a lot more guys getting looks now and I was just trying my best to play my role. Not trying to be selfish and just let the game come to me.”
The teams headed to overtime, which saw Quinnipiac win the faceoff and control the first possession. It drained the shot clock and then Tomsik capped off his clutch performance by wrapping around the crease and sneaking the ball past Logan for the win.
“The guys did that phenomenally, handled the zone there, shortened the shot clock,” Poli said. “[Tomsik] saw that and went right to the cage and was able to beat his matchup.”
Quinnipiac will be facing St. Bonaventure (0-6, 0-3 MAAC) in its next contest this Saturday back at the Quinnipiac Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium.
“We’re going into a big game next weekend, just having all the guys back and going 2-0, the team’s really feeling good right now,” Cuomo said. “I think it’s just massive for the camaraderie of the team and everyone’s fired up. It feels good going into Saturday.”