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March 12, 2014

Men's lacrosse falls 9-8 in overtime at No. 19 Roanoke

In a rematch of a first round NCAA Tournament game from a year ago, the Centre men's lacrosse team played a hard fought game before falling 9-8 at No. 19 Roanoke on Wednesday in Roanoke, Va.

It was the second meeting between the two teams, with Centre in its fourth year of competition and Roanoke a perennial power, having 23 NCAA Tournament appearances and a national championship to its credit. Centre fell 21-4 in last year's NCAA game, but the Colonels gave the Maroons all they could handle on Wednesday, taking a 4-0 lead and holding a lead well into the fourth quarter.

Connor Stubbs (Decatur, Ga.) and Zack Connors (Louisville, Ky.) led the way offensively for the Colonels, with Stubbs scoring a game-high three goals and Connors tallying two goals and two assists. Peter Murphy (Louisville, Ky.) had a goal and an assist while Wesley Hardman (Narragansett, R.I.) and Dustin Cowell (Culver, Ind.) scored single goals.

Bryce McCoy (Hudson, Ohio) made several big saves for Centre, finishing with 16 overall and a .640 save percentage. Charles Pease had eight saves for Roanoke. 

The Colonels shocked Roanoke early, going up 4-0 and keeping the Maroons off the board for the entire first half. Both teams went scoreless through the first quarter, but Connors got Centre on the board with 10 minutes left in the half. Stubbs, Cowell and Hardman added goals over the closing minutes for a 4-0 halftime lead.

Roanoke stormed back in the third quarter, however, taking just eight minutes to tie the score with four straight goals and later adding another to take a 5-4 lead to the fourth. 

Centre refused to go away, as Stubbs scored twice in the first two minutes of the quarter to put Centre back in front. A Roanoke goal tied the score at six with 11 minutes to play, but 30 seconds later, Murphy put Centre back in front again. 

The lead would be Centre's last as Roanoke scored the next two goals to go up 8-7 with 3:26 to play. Still, the Colonels took advantage of a Roanoke turnover to tie the game a minute later on a goal by Connors. The teams went to overtime after Centre was unable to score on a late man-up opportunity, and Roanoke missed on two shots in the final seconds.

Though Centre opened the overtime period a man down, the Colonels were able to kill off the penalty and get a possession of their own, though both shots they took sailed wide. With just 19 seconds remaining, Roanoke's Kevin Jackson scored to give his team the win.

Roanoke took 57 shots to Centre's 26 in the game and picked up 39 ground balls to the Colonels' 31. The Maroons held a 11-8 edge in faceoffs and turned the ball over 22 times to Centre's 24.

Centre drops to 2-2 on the season while Roanoke improves to 4-2. The Colonels are back in action Saturday at noon when they take on Sewanee in a meeting of Southern Athletic Association co-champions from last year and a rematch of last season's SAA championship game.