CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Peter DeSimone added another installment to his burgeoning resume of late-game heroics, ripping home the go-ahead goal with 1:13 remaining and adding an empty-netter in the closing seconds to ensure the No. 17 Ursinus College men's lacrosse team escaped with a thrilling 10-8 Centennial Conference victory at Washington College on Wednesday night.
The Bears (6-2, 1-1) led for the first time on DeSimone's rocket from the right wing with just 73 seconds to play, capping a comeback from three goals down in the third quarter. DeSimone, who registered his second game-winner of the year, finished with three goals to supplement two apiece from juniors Ian Desenberg and Gerard Brown and freshman Bobby McClure for Ursinus, which closed the night on a 6-1 run for a victory it desperately needed after dropping its previous two games.
Cooper Sloan led the way with four goals for Washington College (5-4, 0-2), which has lost four straight following a 5-0 start. The Bears have won three straight games in the series, including the last two in Chestertown.
Ursinus mounted its comeback early in the third. Brown's 11th goal of the season – oddly coming at the 11:11 mark – sliced the Shoremen lead to 7-5, and freshman Reagan Ketchum took advantage of the first extra-man opportunity with a long-range blast at the 6:16 mark. Fifty-four seconds later, sophomore Sam Isola picked out Desenberg from behind the net, and the junior made no mistake on the doorstep to tie the game at 7.
Trey Ritter gave the home side the upper hand for the last time with 2:37 to go in the frame, but a spin move and quick finish from Desenberg just 53 seconds later leveled the spread one last time. The Bears dominated the run of play in the third, holding a 15-4 advantage in shots.
The tension mounting with every passing moment, the teams came up empty on the first 11 possessions of the final frame. On their sixth trip of the period, Ursinus finally broke through. Junior Lou Harrison sent a short pass to DeSimone, who rifled a shot into the back of the net to give the Bears their first lead of the night. It was the second game-winner of the season for DeSimone, who tallied the walk-off goal in triple overtime against Montclair State three weeks ago.
Senior Steve Palo won the ensuing faceoff and scooped up the ground ball. After a timeout, DeSimone beat a double team and scored into an empty net with 26.3 ticks remaining to ice the Bears' pulse-pounding comeback.
Ben Flood finished with 11 saves for the Shoremen, who led 4-2 late in the first before Brown went around a Harrison screen and scored on a top-shelf shot with 10 seconds remaining. Sloan's third of the evening sent Washington College into intermission with a 6-4 edge.
The Bears got a huge lift from Palo, who went 11 for 18 at the faceoff X and collected three ground balls; Palo was 7 for 10 in the second stanza. Desenberg led Ursinus with four grounders, while freshman Evan Scott had three. Freshman John Lyman caused two turnovers for an Ursinus squad that did not commit a penalty.
Sophomore Elliott Shevitz made six saves – three each in the second and fourth quarters.
Ursinus owned a slim 33-32 edge in shots, with Washington College leading 29-26 in ground balls. The Bears committed 12 turnovers to 15 for the Shoremen, who gave the ball up nine times after halftime and failed on half of its six second-half clears.
The men's lacrosse team hosts Swarthmore on Saturday, April 1.
The Bears come from behind to earn a 10-8 victory!