By Reed Dempsey
At home on Saturday, the No. 12 Bison men’s lacrosse team (No. 14 in the media poll) staged a five-goal rally in the final
21 minutes of regulation to force overtime in its season-opening game against No. 19 Delaware (Not rated in the media poll), only to see the Blue Hens score with five seconds remaining in the first period of extra time to win 11-10.
Delaware opened the scoring with a tally
10 minutes into the first quarter. Less than a minute later, Peter Burke ’14 scored an unassisted goal to tie the game at one. The Orange and Blue then suffered a three-goal run by the Blue Hens, bringing the score to 4-1. After the fourth goal, head coach Frank Fedorjaka pulled goalie Kyle Feeney ’13 from the game.
“I felt like he could have been playing better, and in years past when he has come out briefly and gone back in
he has played terrific,” Fedorjaka said. Feeney has started in all but two games over the last two seasons. During Feeney’s absence, Billy Eisenreich ’12 connected with Tom Black ’14 to bring the score to 4-2. After another goal by the Blue Hens, Feeney returned to the cage, where he would remain for the rest of the game.
As the Bison struggled to maintain possession on attack
, Delaware took advantage of several miscues to keep piling on the goals. Eisenreich finished the first half scoring an unassisted tally with just over three and a half minutes remaining. The Blue Hens continued their strong play after the break, scoring their seventh and eighth goals within the first five minutes of the third quarter.
Over the next two minutes, Todd Heritage ’14 scored back-to-back goals to bring the game within three.
The Blue Hens followed with two goals to extend their lead to 10-5. For the next 21 minutes, the Bison played shutdown defense, fantastic goalie play and an offense that works like a well-oiled machine.
The Bison rattled off five straight goals to tie the game at 10 with just under seven minutes left in regulation. Over the final minutes of regulation, both teams had several opportunities to go ahead, but Delaware advances were stopped as Feeney
rebounded from a tough first three quarters to save six shots down the stretch.
The Orange and Blue had two possessions in the snow-filled extra period but were unable to capitalize. With time winding down in
overtime, the Blue Hens advanced the ball into the Bison defensive zone and found an open player right in front of the cage for the game-winner.
“I like to think this is a bit of a wakeup call. I know what I have to do to get better, and so does the rest of the team,”
Feeney said. “I think moving forward we just need to stick to our fundamentals. When we played to our potential and rules, we were borderline unstoppable. Obviously the loss hurts, and I think that’s a good thing.”
The Bison will get a chance to bounce back from the opening loss during Saturday’s matchup in Amherst, Mass.
against No. 11 UMass (1-0).With a long season ahead of them, the Bison still have a championship run in their sights. “I think that by losing it will make our team pay closer attention to detail throughout the week, which could lead to an overall better season,” Fedorjaka said.