The Hamilton College men’s lacrosse team picked up its first win of the season, rallying to beat nationally ranked No. 19 Nazareth College 10-9 on Wednesday afternoon at Hamilton's Steuben Field.
The Continentals (1-1 overall) held the Golden Flyers to two goals over the first 29 minutes of the second half then held off a late Nazareth rally in this non-conference contest.
Sam Sweet ’16 and Pat Donahoe ’16 scored fourth-quarter goals to break an 8-8 tie and Hamilton’s Will Driscoll ’15 made three of his 19 saves in the final 2:12.
Trailing 10-8, the Golden Flyers (1-1) forced a pair of turnovers in their own defensive zone in the last 40 seconds. They capitalized on the first with Kyle Fanning ’15 scoring his third goal of the game to pull the visitors to within a goal with 28 seconds remaining. Hamilton won the ensuing faceoff but turned the ball over with eight seconds left. A long pass by Nazareth goalkeeper Michael Cuciti ’17 (seven saves) went wide in the Hamilton defensive zone as time expired.
The win was Hamilton’s first in three meetings with Nazareth and marked the Continentals’ first victory over a nationally ranked opponent since topping No. 14 Connecticut College 5-4 on April 13, 2013.
Driscoll’s 19 saves were two short of his career high. He recorded 11 stops in the second half when the Golden Flyers, who owned a 51-31 advantage in shots, outshot the hosts 27-14.
The Golden Flyers scored the first two goals and held a 5-2 lead early in the second quarter before the Continentals ran off four straight goals to take their first lead in the final minute of the half. Nazareth tied the score 13 seconds before halftime and tied the score twice in the second half before Sweet and Donahoe’s goals gave Hamilton a two-goal lead.
Connor Morgan ’15 sparked Hamilton’s second-quarter comeback by scoring his first goal of the season to start the rally and assisting on the tying goal by Dan Cahill ’17 and the go-ahead score by Joe Ricciuti ’16 with 51 seconds left in the half. Matt McDermott ‘15 scored his first goal of the year for Nazareth 38 seconds later to send the teams into intermission tied at 6-6.
Pax Anthos ’15 scored his second goal of the game early in the third and Fanning, who led all scorers with three goals and two assists, responded at the 6:06 mark. Donahoe’s first goal of the year put Hamilton up 8-7 with 71 seconds to go in the third but Nazareth tied the score again as Troy Haefele ’16 notched his fifth goal of the spring 1:52 into the final quarter.
Sellers Garrett ’16 picked up four ground balls for Hamilton and Eric Zurmuehle ’18 collected three. Sweet and Ricciuti both finished with a goal and an assist. J.D. Brachman ’17 scored the Continentals’ first two goals.
Nazareth’s Drew Simoneau ’15 led all players with 11 ground balls. He won 14 of the game’s 20 faceoffs and scored off a draw to give the visitors a 3-1 lead late in the opening period. Jerry Chasteen ’15 contributed five ground balls.
Hamilton returns to NESCAC action on Saturday, hosting Colby College at 1 p.m. The Golden Flyers take on St. Lawrence University in their home opener on Saturday.