Ierlan Wins 81.3% of Faceoffs in #8/8 UAlbany Men's Lacrosse 15-13 Victory at Harvard
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – TD Ierlan won 26-of-32 faceoffs to pace the #8/8 UAlbany men’s lacrosse team to a 15-13 win at Harvard, giving the Great Danes their seventh straight victory.
With a 23-second blitz in the second quarter that put UAlbany (7-1) ahead 10-8 after the half, the Great Danes held off an aggressive Harvard (5-4) team the rest of the night, capped by a two-minute defensive stand near the end of the contest to hold the advantage.
“Wow, what a fun game! We needed to be in a game like that, I thought Harvard played outstanding,” said UAlbany head coach Scott Marr. “We have talked all year about responding and finishing games, and I thought we did just that tonight. We gave up a few goals, but we made stops at the appropriate times; the last two minutes showed how committed our players are to finishing!”
Ierlan finished with 26 faceoff wins and 18 ground balls, each career-highs and ties for the most in each category in a single game in Division I this season.
“It was a great victory for the team in a close game,” said Ierlan. “My wings had a great day, they kept guys off me and got 50-50 ground balls.”
Nine different Great Danes scored goals, including multi-goal games by five players. Justin Reh had five points off two goals and three assists to lead the team. Jakob Patterson had three goals, including a key goal late in the fourth quarter for the insurance score, and an assist, while Adam Osika had two goals and an assist. JD Colarusso picked up his seventh win with eight saves in net.
Morgan Cheek and Tim Edmonds each had three goals and an assist for Harvard. Robert Shaw got the loss in goal despite 15 saves.
UAlbany struck in the opening 19 seconds as Patterson turned with a shovel shot goal from Justin Reh. After Harvard evened it up, UAlbany got off a pair of quick goals from long range catch and shoots from Justin Reh and John Glancy. An exchange, including Connor Fields emerging from around the cage and scoring on a hard fire, made it 4-2 with 7:36 left in the 1st.
Harvard got its first lead with three next three goals, going ahead with 3:09 left in the 1st. UAlbany got back the advantage with two goals in the final minute of the 1st, a long range fire and score by Sean Eccles and then Osika shaking his defender and scoring on the doorstep to send UAlbany up 6-5 after one quarter.
Both sides had the defense going to begin the 2nd quarter with Harvard making saves and UAlbany forcing turnovers on the ride. Harvard scored five minutes into the quarter, then Ierlan won a faceoff and scored himself racing to the cage to make it 7-6. Harvard got the next two to go back up 8-7 with 5:38 remaining in the half.
A UAlbany scoring blitz in a span of 23 seconds gave the Great Danes the lead at the half, spurred on by Ierlan’s faceoff wins: a Kyle McClancy long range shot and score, a Patterson score next to the goal circle then Bennett Drake scoring on a run to the cage left side made it 10-8 UAlbany, the eventual halftime score.
Into the third quarter, the sides kept exchanging goals. Harvard scored from Ryan Graff, countered by Justin Reh off a series of passes from Fields, Drake and finally Glancy. Harvard scored again unassisted, then Osika struck again falling down with a bouncing shot. Harvard again got back to one goal down from Carney Mahon to make it 12-11 UAlbany with 7:45 to go in the 3rd.
The action picked up as both sides tried to fire shots in transition. Colarusso made some low saves, with one leading to a pass to McClancy, who cleared himself and scored off a dodge. UAlbany led 13-11 after three quarters.
The defense made a couple of early stands to begin the fourth, with Colarusso saving a shot on the doorstep and Erik Dluhy forcing a turnover after a Harvard clear. The other way, Eccles pocketed a shot inside the post, making it 14-11 UAlbany with 10:15 left.
Harvard got back to goals, pulling to within one with under five minutes to play. After another Ierlan win, Patterson scored a huge goal, spinning through a double team and hitting a shot in the top right for a UAlbany insurance goal. With 2:26 left, UAlbany went on defense. Colarusso saved another shot close range, then after a Harvard miss, Eli Lasda grabbed the ground ball and swam through a double team, leading to a clear. UAlbany ran out the clock and took the 15-13 victory.
UAlbany’s next contest is against rival Stony Brook on Saturday, April 1st on Long Island at 7 p.m.