By Gavin Woods ’22
Thanks to a 9-8 overtime win over Villanova University last Saturday at Chapey Field, the Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team is heading to the Big East tournament. Following two tough losses to University of Denver and Brown University, respectively, the Friars bounced back in a big way to become the third seed in the Big East standings. PC will now look forward to their first game of the Big East tournament against Georgetown University.
The name of Saturday’s game was offense. The first goal came less than five minutes into the opening quarter from Villanova. However, the Friars responded with two consecutive goals from Duncan McGinnis ‘19 and Evan McGreen ‘21 at 7:35 and 5:32, respectively. The Friars held their lead until 1:23 left in the quarter when Villanova’s Corey McManus scored an emphatic goal to tie the game at two goals apiece, assisted by Keegan Kahn. The Wildcats won the following faceoff, giving them just over a minute to attempt another goal. McManus fired Villanova’s last shot in the quarter, which was saved by PC keeper, Tate Boyce ‘19. With 14 seconds left on the clock, the Friars had one last chance to clear the ball to the Wildcats’ territory. Following the successful clear, the PC offense worked the ball around until McGreen was able to find David Procopio ‘19 for the buzzer-beater goal.
The Friars continued trading goals with the Wildcats throughout the second and third quarters, until Villanova extended their lead to two goals with 12:51 left in the fourth quarter. This began an eight-minute stalemate between the two teams.
With only 4:46 left in the game, it began to look bleak for the Friars until Dan Axelson ‘20 delivered a much needed, unassisted goal to reduce the deficit to one goal. Despite losing the following faceoff, PC was playing with all the momentum. Boyce produced a game-saving stop to give the Friars another chance. After successfully clearing the ball to the opposing side, PC’s Tim Hinrichs ‘21 hoped to tie the game with a side-arm shot that narrowly missed, hitting the crossbar.
Following this possession, Villanova recovered the ball and began an attempt to run out the clock. Yet another save from Boyce gave the Friars another chance at redemption.
After turning the ball over once again, a Villanova defender launched the ball to the opposing side with ten seconds remaining in the game. Miraculously, Boyce recovered the ball and sent it to the Villanova side, where the Friars recovered. In the dying seconds of the game, McGreen was able to feed Nick Hatzipetrakos ’19 for a diving goal to force overtime. This goal added tremendously to the Friars’ confidence which enabled Colin Keating ‘19 to score the game-winning unassisted goal just five seconds into OT.
This pivotal conference win gave PC a regular season record of 7-8, 3-2 within the Big East. This win was essential, as it secured their position to play Georgetown instead of the number one seed, Denver. Nonetheless, Georgetown will prove to be a true test for the Friars as the Bulldogs won the previous regular season matchup in a 15-17 shootout. Georgetown boasts an impressive regular season record of 11-4; however, they share the same conference record of 3-2 with PC.