By KEVIN BOILARD
Junior attackman Paul Tunick found himself at the bottom of a dog pile Saturday afternoon after firing home the game-winning goal to beat McDaniel College in triple overtime.
It took seven quarters to determine a victor in a hard fought battle between the UMW men’s lacrosse team and the McDaniel Green Terror. The Eagles eventually come out on top in a 9-8, overtime decision.
Although it was a storybook ending for the men’s lacrosse team, the path they took to get there was far less glorious. McDaniel jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first half and the Eagles’ offense was sputtering.
On a day when many of the Eagles’ upperclassmen struggled, sophomore midfielder Joey Marson sparked the floundering UMW offense with back-to-back goals just before the first half came to a close.
“When we were down 5-0, I believed that we were going to make a comeback,” Marson said. “I took it upon myself to be aggressive and take chances to score.”
Marson, who led the offensive charge for the Eagles, finished the day with three goals and an assist. Marson had been a piotal player in the weeks leading up to the McDaniel game, but his first points of the season came on Saturday afternoon against the Green Terror.
“Joey needed to step up and he did,” head coach Kurt Glaeser said about Marson after the game. “He consistently plays with a big heart, not to mention he’s fast and quick.”
Thanks to Marson’s spark, the Eagles were able to go into halftime with a little bit of momentum. UMW came out in the second half and slowly chipped away as McDaniel watched their lead slowly diminish.
Marson and his line mate, sophomore Chip Pittard, netted the first two goals of the second half making the score 5-4 in favor of the Green Terror.
After a quarter and a half of back and forth scoring including two goals from sophomore attackman Billy Kelly, the Eagles finally knotted the game up at eight points each with only 17 seconds left in regulation. The game-tying goal came courtesy of sophomore attackman John Bohlinger. The unassisted goal was Bohlinger’s first of the game and his fifth of the season.
Glaeser was impressed with the way his team handled the adversity of playing from behind. “I’m thrilled with our willingness to respond to a challenge,” Glaeser said about his team. “Every game will be a fight and resiliency is a good quality to have.”
After two scoreless overtime periods, the Eagles won the faceoff at the outset of the third overtime and hastily called a timeout. In a game where UMW’s sophomore class accounted for seven of the team’s nine goals, Glaeser called on one of his veterans to take the game’s final shot.
“He is one of our best time and room shooters,” Glaeser said about Tunick. “I went with an older guy and a play we were comfortable with. He stepped up anTunick was surprised when he heard Glaeser call his number.
“I hadn’t been in since the second quarter. So, I really don’t know why he put me in,” Tunick said. “At first I didn’t think it was there, but I just shot it as hard as I could. I saw the net move and I knew we had won.”
The final score was 9-8 in triple overtime but despite winning in such dramatic fashion, Glaeser believes that lessons can be learned.
“We’re going to be in a lot of close games this season and we have to be ready to scrap,” Glaeser said. “But I’d prefer that we not make that a habit… They don’t all have to be close games.”
The Eagles (3-0) will host Christopher Newport University (1-1) next Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Battlegrounds.