The Bison men’s lacrosse team came up with a huge 8-7 win against Army West Point on April 2. This was the Bison’s final road game of the regular season, and they made it count. After the win, the Orange and Blue improve to 6-4 overall and 3-3 in the Patriot League.
Jarett Witzal ’19 (7-12) and Sam Hahn ’18 (5-7) each had a phenomenal day on the face-off, winning a combined 12 of 19 total draws against one of the top draw teams in the country. Despite these outstanding performances, this win was truly a team effort. The Orange and Blue defense held the Black Knights to a season-low of seven goals in a game, with goalie Christian Klipstein ’19 making 14 saves. This defensive discipline allowed the Orange and Blue offense to rally in the second half. The Bison finished with a 34-32 shot advantage over Army, helping them obtain the win in this tight game.
The Bison trailed 2-0 early in the game, but Sean Doyle ’16 and Thomas Flibotte ’16 closed the gap with back-to-back goals. Army answered with another goal, regaining their advantage. Reed Malas ’19 scored with just 3.5 seconds remaining on the clock to make it 3-3 at the end of the half.
Army came out strong in the second half, controlling the scoring game until late in the third quarter. The Bison had a hard time offensively in the third quarter against the second-ranked defensive team in the league, until Quinn Collison ’17 got the Bison going with two goals and Will Sands ’18 with one. Collison’s second goal was tallied off of a feed from Sands with only 11 seconds left in the third quarter and put the Bison in their first lead of the day at 6-5. Doyle added another goal to the scoreboard, giving the Orange and Blue a much-needed safety net and helping them solidify their win. With the 30-second shot clock activated, Tommy O’Connor ’17 scored what would be the winning goal for the Bison, putting the score at 8-6.
The Bison won the second-to-last face-off of the game, but Army got the ball back with a minute left in the game. Klipstein came up with a huge save after Army shot with 30 seconds remaining, but Army’s high-pressure ride allowed them to force Klipstein out of bounds. Army scored with 14 seconds on the clock, but they never had the chance to make a comeback due to a false-start call on Army’s face-off player.
“Well, I thought it was our most complete game by far. Our defense played really well, we won face–offs, and our offense played well enough to win,” O’Connor said.
The men’s lacrosse team will be back at it again on April 8, as it hosts non-conference competitor Mount St. Mary’s.