Sands hits scoring milestone, O’Brien lifts team over Yale in OT

Ross Lazarus, Senior Writer

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The Bison men’s lacrosse traveled to West Point and beat No. 20 Army 10-7 on March 31. Notably, in the past two weeks the Orange and Blue have accumulated two wins against top-25 ranked teams. The Bison, ranked 14th in the nation, are now 5-1 in Patriot League play. They have clinched a conference playoff berth and are in a three-way tie for first place in the League with Lehigh and Navy.

It was a slow start for the Bison in New York. The Black Knights kept the Orange and Blue scoreless in the first quarter, extending their advantage to a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter. However, the Bison soon worked their way back through physical play. Tommy Sopko ’21 helped fuel the comeback by providing two goals in less than two minutes.

At the end of the first half, the score was tied 3-3. The Bison made their move on the back of the outstanding play by midfielder Reed Malas ’19, who notched a hat trick in eight minutes and quickly gave the Bison a 6-4 lead.

With 45 seconds left in the third, Will Sands ’18 built upon his historic career for the Orange and Blue, becoming the sixth Bison in program history to score 100 career goals. Sands had a stellar performance, ending the game with two goals and two assists.

When reflecting on the achievement, Sands looks towards the future instead of focusing on the past.

“One hundred goals is a fantastic testament to the great teammates that I have had over my career. Honestly, I am more excited that we are playing very good lacrosse as a team right now and winning some big games,” Sands said. “I love how this team doesn’t get satisfied and is hungry to get better every day.”

The Bison sealed the game with three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter. The defense was impressive down the stretch, only allowing nine Army shots in the second half. Goalie Christian Klipstein ’19 finished the game with nine saves.

Later in the week, the Bison stunned No. 3 Yale in a 9-8 overtime thriller. With a little over a minute left in the OT period, Sean O’Brien ’18 created space and scored a rocket into the back of the net. This was the team’s third-straight road win over a ranked team.

Winning eight of their first eleven games this season, the Bison have their best record since 2013. They will look to continue their strong season when they host Mount St. Mary’s on April 7 at 7 p.m.

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