The Wilmington University men’s lacrosse team had a exciting home opener on Wednesday as the team beat the University of the District of Columbia Firebirds 10-9 in overtime at the WU Athletics Complex.
Wilmington blew a four goal lead the team had at the top of the fourth period and let the Firebirds score three straights goals at the end to push the game into overtime.
Senior attacker Sean Sheehan would score the overtime winning goal for WilmU at the 02:52 minute mark and was assisted on the goal by junior midfielder Ralph Ruggiero.
Senior attacker Dylan McCleaft earned a hat trick in Wilmington’s win with scoring five goals. McCleaft also had 11 shots, seven shots on goal, seven ground balls, five points and two turnovers.
Four other Wildcats scored a goal and they were Sheehan (2), Ruggiero (1), junior midfielder Jake Walsh (1) and sophomore attacker Austin Wood (1).
Freshman midfielder Anton Mackey picked up nine ground balls in Wilmington’s win.
Sophomore Defender Jake Mollohan also picked up five ground balls in WilmU’s win.
Wilmington’s sophomore goal keeper Noah Given had a tough day but hung in there as he allowed nine goals, 26 shots and had saves in 61:08 minutes of play.
McCleaft Scores Two Goals As Wilmington Takes Early 1st Period Lead
The first period started with Wilmington getting the first goal on the board with Dylan McCleaft scoring a goal with 12:09 in the period. McCleaft’s goal was assisted by Austin Wood.
The next scoring drive for Wilmington started with a block shot and then the team missed a shot wide of the goal.
It would be followed up with McCleaft’s second goal of the period which would give WilmU a 2-0 lead with 8:16 left in the period.
The Firebirds would finally get on the board around the 7:11 minute mark when Turner Allison scored a goal in the man-up situation. Allison’s goal was assisted by Jeffrey Vo which would decrease WilmU’s lead to 2-1.
The Wildcats would end the period with a 2-1 lead over the Firebirds.
Wilmington Adds Two More Goals In The Second Period
The second period started with Dylan McCleaft scoring his third goal of the game which gave Wilmington a 3-1 lead with 12:01 left in half.
Wilmington was not done with adding goals in the second period as Ralph Ruggiero would score a goal with 9:14 left in the half to increase WilmU’s lead to 4-1.
The Firebirds ended their silence in the second period when Alan Singleton was assisted by Jeffrey Vo on a goal around the 7:16 minute mark which decreased Wilmington’s lead to 4-2.
Wildcats Score Two More Goals As They Continue Their Lead In 3rd Period
The first scoring drive for the third period would come from Wilmington when Austin Wood was assisted by Jake Mollohan on a goal at the 8:59 minute mark. Wood’s goal would give the Wildcats a 5-2 lead.
The Firebirds would answer back when Edmund Taylor picked up a ground ball and would follow that up with a goal at the 3:45 minute mark to decrease WilmU’s lead to 5-3.
Wilmington’s next scoring drive started with the team causing an turnover and then Noah Brock would pick up the ground ball and clear it.
It would be followed up by Dylan McCleaft scoring his fourth goal which was assisted by James Colligan. McCleaft’s goal would increase Wildcats lead to 6-3 with 2:50 left in the period.
Wilmington Blows Lead and Game Heads To Overtime
Wilmington would strike first in the fourth period when Dylan McCleaft scored his fifth goal of the game which gave the team a 7-3 lead.
Firebirds next scoring drive started with causing a turnover and then Connor Mosby would follow it with a goal at the 13:21 minute mark. Mosby’s goal decreased Wilmington’s lead to 7-4.
The Firebirds would follow up their last goal with another one when Alan Singleton would score a goal at the 10:14 minute mark. Singleton’s goal would decrease WilmU’s lead to 7-5.
Firebirds would score their third straight goal when the team won the face off and Jacob Saunders would score a goal at the 9:54 minute mark. Saunders goal would decrease WilmU’s lead to 7-6.
Wilmington was silent for a while in the period but the team would win the face off and Anton Mackey picked the ground ball at the 9:54 minute mark.
It would be followed by a goal from Sean Sheehan who was assisted by Matt Browne to increase Wilmington’s lead to 8-6 with 9:36 left in the game.
Wilmington would score their second straight goal when Jake Walsh hit his second attempt on the drive to increase WilmU’s lead to 9-6 with 5:45 left in the game.
Firebirds would answer back with Edmund Taylor scoring his second goal of the game which decreased Wilmington’s lead to 9-7 with 4:23 left in the game.
The Firebirds were not done yet, as the team scored their second straight goal with Tyler Mace to decrease WilmU’s lead to 9-8 with 2:05 left in the game.
Tyler Mace was not done yet as he would score the game tying goal which would send the game into overtime.
In overtime, it was Sean Sheehan who scored his second goal of the game and was assisted by Ralph Ruggiero to give the Wildcats a 10-9 overtime win.
Wilmington will host Davis & Elkins on March 6th at 3:00pm ET at the WU Athletics Complex.
Saves: WU 17& UDC 16
Turnovers: WU 22 &UDC 30
Face Offs Won: WU 13 -24 & UDC 11 -24
Shots:WU 45& UDC 31
Ground Balls:WU 39& UDC 37
Clears: WU 22 -24 & UDC 18 -28
Man Up: WU 0 -6 & UDC 1-3
FO Violations: WU 1 & UDC 1