MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – In a back and forth battle, it was the Salve Regina men's lacrosse team that came out on top as senior Chad Hollenshade (Lutherville, Md.) found an empty top right hand corner of the net in overtime to lift the Seahawks past the University of New England in Commonwealth Coast Conference action, Saturday afternoon.
Salve Regina (9-1, 2-1 CCC) started the four minute overtime period on an extra man opportunity after a Nor'easter penalty came as time expired in regulation. Because they started the period with the EMO, the Seahawks started the extra period with the ball. Just 14 seconds into overtime, freshman Nick LoCicero (Lynbrook, N.Y.) took a quick shot on goal that was saved by the freshman goalie Joe Medel (Chesapeake, Va.). The stick save ricocheted out of bounds and a Seahawk was closest to the sideline as Salve Regina maintained possession. Senior Curtis McKeon (West Haven, Conn.) worked the ball in front of the cage then flipped it to Hollenshade who was positioned just to the left of the goal. Hollenshade caught the quick pass from McKeon and one-timed it into the top right hand corner to end the game and give Salve Regina the 8-7 overtime win over the University of New England (3-6, 0-2 CCC).
The Seahawks led 7-6 with 1:41 to play in regulation before freshman Dan Auger (Nashua, N.H.) found a hole on the right side of the net for his second goal of the game to tie it, 7-7. Salve Regina won the ensuing face off and senior Dan Parks (Nesconset, N.Y.) tried for the game winner with hard low shot that Medel handled and started a clear attempt for the Nor'Easters. After successfully getting the ball into their offensive zone, the Nor'easters turned it over as junior Alex Hennessy (West Babylon, N.Y.) poked the ball out of a UNE stick and picked up the ground ball to start a clear for Salve Regina. As he took it into SRU's offensive zone, Hennessy drew a tripping penalty as time expired to give Salve Regina the extra man chance heading into overtime.
The Seahawks and Nor'easters battled in a tight back and forth contest from the opening quarter as neither team took more than an one-goal lead throughout the game. Salve Regina started things off as Parks took a long pass from behind the net from LoCIcero just 2:19 into the opening quarter and went low for his 14th goal this season. Salve Regina held the 1-0 advantage until the 7:28 mark as junior Steven Hughes (Flemington, N.J.) picked up a ground ball off a Seahawk turnover and cleared the ball into the Nor'easter's zone. Senior Nick Gross (Kennebunk, Maine) got the ball to freshman J.T. Oliver (Damascus, Md.) as he beat Watkins to tie the game at 1-1. The Nor'easters then took their first lead of the game off senior Patrick Wolfe (Phippsburg, Maine) tallied his 19th goal of the year with 5:52 to play in the first. The two teams battled for the rest of the quarter but neither team could find the back of the net in the last 5:52 of action and UNE led 2-1 after the first 15 minutes.
Parks once again took a feed from LoCicero and went low to beat Medel at his feet to tie the game again at 2-2 with 11:27 to play in the second. The tie would not last long as senior Dan O'Gorman (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) quickly gave UNE back the lead at 10:49 after winning the faceoff after Parks' goal and tallying his fourth of the year.
With 18 seconds to play in the half, Watkins made a hard save to keep the Nor'easters ahead by one only and cleared the ball quickly down the field. Hollenshade held the ball behind the net and dropped it into Jones' stick as he notched his first goal of the game with just two seconds left in the half. The two teams took the 3-3 tie into the rainy halftime.
After a quiet first six minutes of the third quarter, Jones gave the Seahawks this first lead since the first quarter with his 30th goal of the season off a pass from LoCicero. After a successful clear off a Seahawk turnover, UNE tied the game once again, this time off an unassisted goal from freshman Connor Leggett (Sunderland, Vt.) with 6:35 left in the quarter. McKeon and sophomore Sam Cloutier (Lewiston, Maine) traded goals to close out the third and the two teams went into the fourth quarter tied, 5-5.
Jones gave the Seahawks a 6-5 lead with a hard shot to the upper right hand corner of the net off a pass from sophomore James Fee (Massapequa. N.Y.) at 9:30 but Auger answered with his first tally of the game just 52 seconds later to tie the game for the sixth time.
With 5:06 to play in the fourth, Watkins made a point-blank save off a shot from Cloutier the bounced back into play as Hennessy picked up the ground ball and sprinted into Salve Regina's offensive zone and gave the ball to an unguarded Jones about 20 yards out from the goal. Jones took one step towards the goal and launched it past Medel to give SRU a 7-6 lead with 4:59 to play in regulation. Auger's game-tying goal came 3:18 later to send the game into overtime.
Leading Salve Regina's attack, which was held to a single-digit goal total for the first time this season was Jones with four tallies on the day. LoCicero chipped in three assists while McKeon and Hollenshade each had a goal and assist for Salve Regina. Parks added two goal for the Seahawks. Leading the Nor'easters was Auger with two goals while Oliver (1g, 1a) and Leggett (1g, 1a) each had multiple points for UNE.
Defensively, junior Steven Russell (Bayport, N.Y.) caused five turnovers for the Seahawks and picked up six ground balls. Watkins earned his ninth win in the net for the Seahawks making a season-high 19 saves over the 61:41. Medel took the loss for the Nor'easters after making 17 saves in the net for UNE.
UNE returns to action when the Nor'easters travel to Colby on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. opening faceoff. Salve Regina gets back in action on Wednesday when the Seahawks travel to CCC and instate rival Roger Williams for a 7 p.m. start.