FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The No. 20 Ursinus College men's lacrosse team mounted a giant comeback that culminated in a thrilling 10-9 double overtime win at Mary Washington on Saturday.
The Bears (2-0), who turned heads with a comeback victory at nationally-ranked Stevenson last week, put together another rally for the ages to start the Gary Mercadente era in tremendous fashion. Sophomore attack Hakan Atillasoy sent the Bears home winners after his unassisted goal at the 3:08 mark of the second extra session. It was the Bears' first double overtime contest during the regular season since 2010.
Locked at 9 after a scoreless first overtime, Ursinus won the faceoff on a violation and capitalized with a brilliant individual effort from Atillasoy. The sophomore took on his defender from X and used an inside roll to gain separation for a crease dive that proved to be a golden goal.
Atillasoy came up huge for the Bears as he poured in a game-high four goals and assisted on another, helping to complete a turnaround that saw the Bears trailing 6-1 late in the second quarter and by two goals with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
Mary Washington (0-2) went ahead 3-0 just over six minutes into the game. Atillasoy scored Ursinus' first goal from a delivery from DeSimone to close out the first quarter's scoring. DeSimone netted a hat trick and two assists to match Atillasoy's team-high five points and move him up the all-time program charts; he now stands fourth in school history with 88 career goals, and 13 points in the first two games has DeSimone within one of tying Jake Weber '15 for fifth with 137 points.
A streak of three Mary Washington scores to open the second quarter expanded the Eagles' edge to 6-1 with 6:21 to go until halftime. The Eagles scored six times on just seven shots on goal in the opening two quarters.
Ursinus chipped away at the deficit by scoring twice before intermission. Atillasoy's unassisted second tally got the Bears' off a 15-minute scoreless drought. To close the half on a strong note, DeSimone fired one in from senior midfielder Sam Isola with under two minutes to go.
The Bears picked up where they left off coming out of the locker room. Ursinus shut out Mary Washington in the third quarter while scoring three times to tie the game 6-6 heading into the last quarter. In total, Ursinus ran off a 5-0 run bridging halftime.
Less than six minutes into the third, Atillasoy notched his third goal of the game from a DeSimone helper. Junior Bobby McClure tickled the twine, then junior defender Luke Nachazel joined in on the scoring party courtesy of Atillasoy to knot the score.
Two minutes into the fourth, Chris White found the back of the net while on the man advantage. White's score was the Eagles' first goal since he scored at the 6:21 mark of the second quarter.
DeSimmone ripped one in to even it 7-7 not long after, but Shane McKenzie's goal put the Eagles back on top with 7:29 remaining. McKenzie scored three times and added a pair of assists to lead Mary Washington.
Cole Hogan gave the Eagles a two-goal cushion but it wasn't for too long before the Bears struck back to force overtime. DeSimone's third tally with under two minutes to go was followed by junior midfielder Evan Scott's game-tying goal after a dodge and dish from Isola with 1:20 left.
The Bears took two shots and the Eagles registered one in the first overtime but there was nothing doing.
Ursinus senior keeper Nick Kirk made six saves in the victory. Mary Washington goalie Billy Senicola stopped 12 shots.
Ursinus outshot Mary Washington (33-29) and committed less turnovers (28-23). Mary Washington won the ground ball battle (35-28), while the face-off circle was about even with the Eagles taking 11 of the 21 face-offs.
The Bears avenged last season's 11-6 setback to the Eagles.
Ursinus looks to stay hot as the Bears host their second ranked opponent of the young season when No. 18 Cortland comes to Collegeville on Wednesday at 4 p.m.