The Hamilton College men’s lacrosse team opened the 2015 season with a 9-8 overtime loss against Wesleyan University in a NESCAC game on Saturday afternoon at Wesleyan's Citrin Field.
The game marked the second straight season the Continentals opened their season by losing 9-8 in overtime to the Cardinals. Wesleyan scored the last three goals, netting the game winner with just four seconds left in the overtime session. The Cardinals held Hamilton to one goal over the last 25-plus minutes.
Goals by Pax Anthos ’15 and Sam Sweet ’16 gave Hamilton its biggest lead at 8-6 early in the fourth quarter. Wesleyan’s Niall Devaney '16 cut Hamilton’s lead to one 47 seconds later and Harry Stanton '15 netted the tying goal with 3:36 left in regulation.
Hamilton won the overtime faceoff and drew a one-minute penalty nine seconds into the extra period, but Wesleyan’s man-down unit killed the penalty and the Cardinals gained possession after a Continental shot went wide.
Will Driscoll ’15 stopped three Wesleyan shots in a span of 1:12 and Dylan Lahey ’15 forced a Cardinal turnover, but the Continentals were unable to clear and Lyle Mitchell ’16 picked up a ground ball that gave Wesleyan possession with 31 seconds remaining. Driscoll made his 13th save to thwart Nate Ryan ’15 but Matt Prezioso ‘15 collected the rebound and fired in the game winner.
Goals by Anthos and Sweet – who finished with three points apiece – in a 14-second span over the second and third quarters turned Wesleyan’s 5-4 advantage into a 6-5 Hamilton lead. The Cardinals tied the game early in the third on a Prezioso goal.
John Zimmerman ’15 finished with two goals and an assist for Hamilton. Lahey and Matt Hermann ’17 both picked up four ground balls. Sean Spasoff ’17 caused four turnovers and Lahey forced three.
Devaney and Stanton also contributed two goals to Wesleyan’s effort. Ryan assisted on a pair of goals. Mitchell led all players with five ground balls and Ben Shively ’18 had four, helping the Cardinals to a 30-25 advantage.
Wesleyan’s Justin Schick ’15 made 10 saves, including a stop of a buzzer-beating shot by Zimmerman to force overtime.
Hamilton is scheduled to open its home season on Wednesday, March 4, with a 4 p.m. non-league game against nationally ranked No. 19 Nazareth College. Wesleyan hosts Rensselaer on Wednesday.