Crusaders Drop 13-12 Overtime Thriller To #16 Lafayette

A.J. Guarente

WORCESTER, Mass. – Stefan Bauer scored the game-winning overtime goal for the Leopards as the Holy Cross men’s lacrosse team fell to No. 16 Lafayette, 13-12, in Patriot League action on Saturday afternoon at the new Holy Cross Field. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 3-9 overall (1-4 Patriot League), while the Leopards improve to 8-2 overall (3-0 Patriot League). Senior Edison Parzanese (Edgartown, Mass.) led the Crusaders with three goals and three assists for six points.

“Great game today,” said Holy Cross head coach Adam Pascal. “The game featured two great teams playing with a lot of effort. We took the No. 16 team in the nation to overtime. We are getting better and better every day, and our guys just keep on competing and believing in themselves. The team is excited to prepare for Senior Night on April 17 here at Holy Cross against Quinnipiac.”

Sophomore A.J. Guarente (Gaithersburg, Md.) also had an outstanding game as he won 16 of 28 face-offs and posted a career-best three assists for a career-best three points. Freshman James Kennedy (Summit, N.J.) tallied three goals and one assist for four points, while freshman John Hannan (Manhasset, N.Y.) scored a career-best three goals. Senior Kenny Minor (South Hadley, Mass.), senior Chris Smirti (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) and sophomore Colin McGeehin (Newtown Square, Pa.) each recorded one goal, while junior Douglas Broussard (Floral Park, N.Y.) and sophomore Nick Rabiecki (Maplewood, N.J.) each had one assist. Guarente and Broussard each picked up six ground balls to lead all players.

Lafayette was led by Steve Serling who scored five goals and Matt Mersky who recorded three goals.

After the Leopards took an early 2-0 lead, goals by Minor, Hannan from Parzanese, McGeehin and Kennedy from Broussard gave the Crusaders a 4-2 advantage after the first quarter. Lafayette scored the only two goals of the second quarter as Serling and Mersky found the back of the net, as the game went to the half tied at 4-4.

Holy Cross took a 6-4 lead in the third quarter when Smirti scored off an assist by Parzanese, while Hannan scored from a pass by Rabiecki. After Chris Ahern posted a goal for the Leopards, the Crusaders scored two straight to make the score 8-5. Parzanese scored off a pass by Kennedy and Kennedy then scored off an assist by Parzanese. Brett Djaha made it an 8-6 contest with 1:42 left in the third quarter, but Parzanese increased the lead to 9-6 just six seconds later off an assist by Guarente, who won the face-off and sprinted down the field with the ball finding Parzanese for the goal. With just 10 seconds remaining in the quarter, Mersky scored to make the score 9-7.

The Leopards tied the game at 9-9 with two goals by Serling, but again Parzanese scored off a pass from Guarente just six seconds after Lafayette scored. Goals by Mersky and Tom Perini gave the Leopards an 11-10 lead with 5:49 to go. But for the third time, Guarente won a face-off and went right down the field and assisted on a goal. This time he passed the ball to Kennedy who scored just four seconds after a goal by the Leopards. With 2:14 remaining in the fourth quarter, Hannan scored to give the Crusaders a 12-11 advantage. But with 1:34 left, Serling found the back of the net to tie the game at 12-12. Bauer ended the contest with the game-winner that was assisted by Djaha with 1:45 left in overtime.  

Holy Cross senior goalie Connor Sweeney (South Salem, N.Y.) made a career-best 16 saves, while Vinny DePasquale stopped 17 shots to earn the win and improve to 8-2 on the season. Holy Cross outshot Lafayette, 44-39, while the Crusaders won 16 of 29 face-offs. Holy Cross picked up 31 ground balls and Lafayette earned 25.

The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, April 17, when they will meet Quinnipiac in non-conference action at 5:00 p.m., for Senior Night at the new Holy Cross Field.