By Ned Belliveau
The Hampden-Sydney Lacrosse team opened the 2013 campaign with an epic 9-8 victory over in-state foe Mary Washington thanks to a Ryan Martin goal just before the buzzer. The Tiger victory was also head coach Ray Rostan’s 300th collegiate win, placing him in elite company. Rostan is just the 11th head coach to win 300 games in NCAA history and now has the 3rd most victories in Division III history.
The game began with an Eagle’s goal by Luke Dick 2:59 into the first quarter to put the Eagles up 1-0. The lead was erased just under four minutes later as sophomore Thomas Armstrong converted a man-up opportunity off of a pass from fellow sophomore Corey Mavromatis. Mavromatis would dish out his second assist of the game to senior Jess Hawthorne with 4:19 remaining in the first quarter to give the Tigers their first lead of the afternoon. The Eagles would quickly answer, however, as Luke Dick scored his second of the afternoon with 2:42 left in the quarter. Tiger sophomore Abbot Wallenborn would give the Tigers the 3-2 lead on a man-up opportunity with four seconds remaining in the frame.
The second quarter was all Tigers as they outscored the Eagles 3-1 including the first two goals of the frame. Armstrong would score his second man-up goal of the game 2:04 into the quarter and senior Mike Funk scored five minutes later to push the Tiger lead to three. Mary Washington answered on their own man-up goal just under two minutes later off an unassisted Billy Kelly effort. Senior Ryan Martin received a Mike Funk feed and finished with :42 seconds remaining in the half to give the Tigers a 6-3 advantage at the halftime break.
The Eagles came out firing in the third quarter as they quickly cut the deficit to one after two Billy Kelly goals 1:27 apart. The Tigers pushed the lead back to two after an unassisted goal from Wallenborn. Four and a half minutes later, Kelly responded with his fourth goal of the afternoon for the Eagles and the Tiger lead was back down to one. Jess Hawthorne scored his second of the contest with 1:05 remaining in the third to extend the lead to two, but the Eagles would strike back with :38 seconds remaining to make the game 8-7 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was a defensive struggle as both teams couldn’t find the back of the net until halfway through the final frame as Eagles attackman Matt Ganskopp found the back of the net on a man-up opportunity to tie the game. Both teams would remain scoreless until the dying seconds of the game. Senior captain Ryan Martin took matters into his own hands and scored an unassisted tally with 1.6 seconds remaining to send the Tigers home happy with a season-opening victory.
Standouts for the Tigers were senior faceoff man Brad Mostowy who went 70% (14-20) from the X and goalies David Noftsinger and Cody Hornung who split time in the cage for the Tigers and tallied 14 saves between them. Sophomore midfielder James Hughes also had an excellent game, causing four turnovers and scooping up four groundballs. The Tigers led the Eagles in groundballs 38-25 and were also able to clear at a 80% clip. Man-up was key in the contest as well as the Tigers went a solid 3-5 compared to the Eagles 2-9 performance.
The Tigers continue their season on Saturday February 23 as they take on #3 Stevenson at Fulton Field at 1:00. The Tigers and Mustangs had an epic clash in 2012 that saw the Mustangs pull away late to grab the victory. The 2013 edition promises to be just as exciting so get out and support the Tiger lacrosse team!