GENEVA — On April 10, 2004, the Hobart lacrosse team beat Penn State in overtime on a Chris Scanlon goal 32 seconds into overtime.
The Statesmen have been searching in vain for their next OT victory ever since. Nine times they played past regulation with hopeful expectations. Nine times they came up short.
Nearly a decade of overtime frustration ended Tuesday.
Taylor Vanderbeek finished off a cross-field feed from Alex Love with 1:48 left in the extra session to give the Statesmen 9-8 gut-check victory over No. 15/16-ranked Colgate at Boswell Field.
“I’m super happy for the guys. I thought it was a great effort, especially in the second half. The guys kept their composure and we chipped away at it,” Hobart head coach T.W. Johnson said. “It was a great pass in overtime by Alex and Taylor finished the thing.”
Love added three goals to his assist — his 12th career hat trick for Hobart (2-2). Cam Stone scored twice while Sean Regan, Jake McHenry and Matt Opsahl joined Vanderbeek with single tallies.
Gavin Llewellyn handed out a pair of assists. Regan, a Canandaigua grad and close defender, joined backfield-mate Reid Rosello with two caused turnovers. Regan moved into a tie with Alex Caton for first place on the Hobart all-time list for caused turnovers (43).
Statesmen goalie Peter Zonino came up huge with 13 saves. Regan helped limit Colgate’s leading scorer and 2012 Tewaaraton Award winner Peter Baum to a pair of goals.
“Pete [Zonino] was playing on his head today. He was unreal — bailed us out a bunch of times,” Regan said. “It was a great defensive team effort and I’m glad we got the win.”
“He’s a great athlete, he’s Peter Baum,” Regan continued, speaking about his defensive assignment. “But it’s one of those things you can’t think about, you just have to go out there and play. If you think about it, then it will get in your head.”
Colgate (3-2) won the opening faceoff in overtime, but Zonino deflected a shot and Ryan Korn picked up the ground ball. Hobart called a timeout to set up its final possession. Love worked from behind the cage to the side of the box, hounded and pounded by Colgate defenders.
As Love moved toward the top side of the box he snapped a diagonal pass to a cutting Vanderbeek. The sophomore caught the pass, moved in and hurled his shot past Colgate goalie Connor Murphy to set off the Statesmen celebration.
“I just wanted to back my guy down as far as I could; he was beating on me all game,” Love said. “He was still beating on me, but they slid down wrong and I popped it over the top to Vanderbeek.”
“I’ve got to give the credit to [Love]. He held the ball with guys all over him,” Vanderbeek said. “I slipped through a little crease, he found me and I shot it as hard as I could. I hit the ground; when I got up it was time to celebrate.”
The game started fast with a flurry of goals. Baum and Ryan Walsh scored in the first 1:23 before Regan found the net on a counterattack 4:28 in. Still, the Raiders took a 4-2 lead into the second quarter.
Colgate’s Robert Grabher won 5-of-7 faceoffs in the opening quarter, but Hobart counterpart Gryphin Kelly won 2-of-3 in the second and equaled Grabher the rest of the way to help Hobart balance the possession time.
“We got some big faceoff wins in the second half; Gryphin was 50-50 with the kid,” Johnson said.
The Statesmen had to battle relentlessly to pull even with the Raiders. Trailing 4-2 entering the second half, Hobart got to within a goal on five different occasions in the third and fourth quarters. The first three times Colgate was able to stretch its lead back to a pair. The last two times the Statesmen were able to forge ties, and then finally the win.
“That’s a really good attack unit and obviously Peter Baum’s the returning Player of the Year,” Johnson said. “As a defensive unit we had to support Sean, who did a great job on Baum. Peter [Zonino] was really solid between the pipes.
“I give our defense all the credit for getting stops when we needed stops.”
Matt Clarkson gave the Raiders their last multi-goal lead (7-5) with 2:12 left in the third. Stone scored with 1:05 remaining in the quarter and Love netted his 11th of the season 4:13 into the fourth to finally forge a 7-all tie.
Baum came back with his second of the game with 8:39 to go. The Statesmen hit the pipe with a shot less than a minute later, but had to wait until the 2:17 mark to tie it up again. Stone beat his defender from the side and buried what proved to be the last goal of regulation.
“Coach did a good job this week of preaching the word courage over and over again and I feel that’s what we showed,” Vanderbeek said.
“We were down the whole game, but we stayed positive and got it back at the end,” Love added. “That was a great thing for us.”