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Press Release Written by Sports Information Graduate Intern MaryKate Rumbaugh
NEWARK, Del. – With 2:52 left to play in overtime, Sean Sheehan gave the Wilmington University men's lacrosse team the game winning goal to beat the University of the District of Columbia, 10-9, at the WU Athletics Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
In their home opener, the Wildcats (2-1) were able get out to a 6-3 lead into the fourth quarter but UDC's (1-2) six fourth quarter goals would be enough to force overtime against the Wildcats.
The first shot of the game by Dylan McCleaft was good enough to give WilmU the first goal of the game by a pass from Austin Wood just 3:51 into the contest, before McCleaft would net his second goal of the game, and fifth of the season to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead with 8:16 to play in the first quarter. UDC would get their first goal of the game just a minute later to decrease WilmU's 2-1 lead.
Dylan McCleaft would secure the hat trick for the Wildcats with his third goal of the game with 12:01 to play in the second quarter to give Wilmington a 3-1 lead. Coming off a missed shot by UDC and a clear attempt from WilmU, Ralph Ruggiero would find the back of the net for the Wildcats to increase their lead to three. The Firebirds would get one more goal back before the half, as the Wildcats took a 4-2 lead into the break.
Sophomore defensemen Jake Mollohan would find Austin Wood just 2:01 into the second half to give Wilmington back a three goal lead, until the Firebirds found their first goal of the second half with 3:46 to play to make it a 5-3 game. McCleaft wouldn't let the Wildcats without another goal before the quarter ended, scoring on a feed from Jamie Colligan to take a 6-3 lead into the final quarter.
The Wildcats' 6-3 lead would increase to 8-3 courtesy of McCleaft, but their four-goal lead wouldn't be a threat to UDC as they would score three straight goals in a span of 2:24 to make it a 7-6 game in favor of the Wildcats. Anton Mackey was able to win the faceoff after the goal, and get the ball over to Matt Browne who found Sean Sheehan to give WilmU an 8-6 lead, before Jake Walsh gave the Wildcats another one with 5:45 to play and increase their lead back to three, 9-6.
UDC was not done again though, as they scored back-to-back-to-back goals to tie the game at 9-9 with 1:26 left in regulation and force overtime.
To begin OT, Anton Mackey would win the faceoff for the Wildcats but quickly turn the ball over to give UDC a chance. Luckily, an attempt to clear the ball by the Firebirds failed, and the Wildcats were able to regain possession. Jake Walsh would get a shot off first, but on another chance, Ralph Ruggiero found Sean Sheehan who made the game winning goal just 2:08 into overtime to give Wilmington the 10-9 victory.
Dylan McCleaft led the Wildcats with five goals on 11 shots while adding seven groundballs. Sean Sheehan also scored two goals. Ralph Ruggiero would have one goal and one assist for the Wildcats, while Jake Walsh (1 G), Austin Wood (1G, 1A), Matt Brown (1A), and Jake Mollohan (1A) got on the board for WilmU. Defensively, Anton Mackey led the Wildcats with nine ground balls on the faceoff, as Jake Mollohan had five. Noah Given made 17 saves in goal.
The men are back home for their next three contests, including next Wednesday as they host Davis & Elkins at 3:00 p.m.