April 7, 2012
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Watch Lynch's 2OT Game-Winner
LEWISBURG, Pa. - For the second time in his career, senior midfielder Devin Lynch provided a double-overtime game-winning goal. This time around, Lynch's score 30 seconds into a second overtime period put the exclamation point on a 6-5 Army win over No. 15 Bucknell in Patriot League lacrosse action at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The Black Knights' victory ended an eight-game win streak for the Bison, which stood as the fourth-longest win streak in the nation.
The last time Army (5-6, 2-2 PL) played a double-overtime game, Lynch came up with the game-winner at the Carrier Dome as his Black Knights shocked Syracuse in the opening round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Lynch's heroics two years later spelled Army's second Patriot League victory and first win over a nationally ranked opponent this season.
"The second overtime is a time when anything goes and it's just about making a big play," Lynch said after the game. "They 10-manned us, which we expected, and it left the corners and the wings open. Luckily, I was open and saw a lane and went for it.
"As I fell, I heard the crowd erupt and figured the game was over or a save must have been made," the tri-captain added. "Having the guys jump on me definitely signified that we got it done."
Lynch's timely goal marked his only point of the afternoon, while junior attackman Garrett Thul and senior attackman James MacGibbon tallied two goals apiece. Freshman midfielder John Glesener added two points (1G, 1A), while senior attackman Conor Hayes (2A) and junior midfielder Alex Van Krevel (1A) each registered assists.
"It was a tough game all the way through against one of the best teams in the country," said seventh-year head coach Joe Alberici. "All week long we had talked about expecting to win. We've been right there in a number of close games and it just hasn't gone our way."
After entering the locker room tied 2-2, Army withstood deficits of 3-2 and 4-3 before regulation came to a close. The Black Knights gave up an extra-man Bucknell goal with 1:16 to play in the fourth quarter which eventually resulted in the Black Knights' second overtime test of the season.
"The guys showed some great mental toughness out there today," Alberici continued. "There was a lot of confidence in our huddle and I think that's what carried the day."
Neither team found the back of the net in the first overtime despite combining for five shots. The teams played much of the extra time back-and-forth at a frenzied pace. The Black Knights accounted for the only shot, Lynch's game-winner, of the final frame.
Bucknell (8-4, 3-1 PL) sophomore attackman Todd Heritage paced the Bison with two goals, while senior attackman Billy Eisenreich, junior attackman Chase Bailey and sophomore midfielder Tom Black each registered single goals. Eisenreich entered the game ranked third in the nation averaging 4.73 points per game and finished Saturday's affair with two points (1G, 1A). Army junior close defenseman Brendan Buckley spent the majority of the afternoon silencing Eisenreich.
"We played a lot of defense today with some costly clearing errors, but I have to tip my hat to the entire `D' for their outstanding efforts today," Alberici said. "Our goaltending was terrific. Zach (Palmieri) did a great job in the cage making saves when he needed to. For Brendan Buckley to lead a defensive effort in holding one of the leading scorers in the country (Billy Eisenreich) to one (goal) and one (assist), it was a critical element to today's success."
Senior goalkeeper Zach Palmieri made 10 saves, including two in the final seconds of regulation to preserve the tie and force overtime. Buckley amassed a game-high five caused turnovers as Army racked-up a season-best 16 forced miscues on the day. Senior captains Brian LoRusso and Tim Henderson added four and three caused turnovers, respectively. Henderson led all players with seven ground balls. Army edged Bucknell 36-30 in ground balls for the day.
Army struck first on a play that began with a caused turnover courtesy of senior long pole Tom Dalton and finished with an unassisted Thul goal at 11:54. The Black Knights' 1-0 lead stood for nearly eight minutes, but a close-range goal from Bucknell's Heritage with 3:46 on the clock evened the score a 1-1.
Each team netted a single goal in the second quarter as well, but it was the Bison striking first 2:18 into the action. Army answered just over a minute later as Glesener fed a streaking MacGibbon for his third goal of the season at 11:06. While both teams had plenty of chances over the remaining 11 minutes of the quarter, neither could add to its goal total and entered halftime tied 2-2.
Bucknell took a 3-2 lead with an Eisenreich goal just 2:30 into the third quarter. That advantage lasted exactly two minutes before Van Krevel hit a wide open Glesener for a 10-yard score with 10:30 on the clock. The Bison wasted little time regaining the lead, as Heritage's second goal of the day at 9:16 gave the Bison a 4-3 edge.
Neither team scored over the final nine minutes of the third quarter, but the Black Knights leveled the score for a fourth time less than two minutes into the fourth quarter. After Palmieri came up with his eighth save of the afternoon, Hayes hit Thul in stride for his second goal of the day with 13:17 on the clock.
Army went on to take its first lead since the opening minutes of the game as Hayes found MacGibbon wide open just outside the crease for his second goal of the day. MacGibbon's fourth goal of the season paid dividends after a long possession at the 9:10 mark.
The Black Knight defense held up over the next eight minutes of regulation before a pushing call with just under two minutes to play put Bucknell's EMO unit on the field. The Bison converted as Bailey netted his only goal of the day with 1:16 left in regulation. Over the final minute of regulation, the teams combined for three turnovers and Palmieri made back-to-back saves to preserve the tie, force the extra sessions and lead to Lynch's late-game heroics.
Army will look to carry momentum into next Saturday's service-academy showdown against Navy at Michie Stadium. Face-off for the April 14 contest is set for 12:06 p.m. for a game that is set to air live on CBS Sports Network. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the contest to take part in a bevy of pregame activities to include Black Knights Alley beginning at 10 a.m.
Game Notes: Bucknell is the sixth nationally ranked opponent Army has faced this season ... senior defenseman Larry LoRusso carried the American flag onto the field ... Army has scored first in eight games this season ... senior midfielder Derek Sipperly won 9-of-16 face-offs ... he added four ground balls ... senior goalkeeper Zach Palmieri reached double-figure saves for the fifth time this season ... Garrett Thul extended his goal-scoring streak to 35 games.