SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Juniors Jake Mabardy and Zach Davis combined for five goals during a game-ending 7-1 run as the No. 17 Union College men’s lacrosse team stormed back to take down Western New England University by a 15-13 score in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championships on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Frank Bailey Field at Bertagna-Class of 1985 Stadium.
With the win, Union (12-6) improves to 9-0 all-time in the NCAA Tournament on home field and advances to tomorrow’s third round. The team will host #5/4 Middlebury College, 10-9 winners over St. Mary’s College of Maryland in Saturday’s first game, at 3 p.m.
Davis scored all three of his tallies in the final 20 minutes, while Mabardy’s two goals on the day were the game-tying and winning scores for the home team. Fellow junior Peter Kip led the team with four points on three goals and an assist, while classmate Justin Greene also scored three times. Sophomore Archie McEvoy and first-year Emmett Lyne matched Mabardy’s three points as well, with all three recording two goals and an assist.
Junior Dan Donahue made 13 saves in goal for the home team, while fellow junior Matthew Paolatto put in hard work at the X, winning 16-of-30 faceoffs and grabbing a game-high 12 ground balls.
Union was on its heels for a majority of the afternoon, as Western New England (12-9) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and never trailed until the final four minutes of the game. The home team rebounded from its slow start to knot the score at four early in the second stanza, but the Golden Bears scored five times in the period to take a 9-7 lead into halftime.
Following a Lyne tally on the opening possession of the third quarter, WNE scored three straight times – including two from the game’s leading scorer Dylan Hanley – to take the largest lead of the game at 12-8 with 7:14 left in the period.
Following Hanley’s fourth goal of the afternoon, Union switched up some defensive assignments and the back line – led by sophomore Seamus Foley and senior Clint Gourdeau – stepped up to limit the Golden Bears to just one goal and only four on-target shot attempts over the final 22:13 of the contest.
Davis got the game-winning rally started with the final goal of the third quarter, and then opened the fourth with another tally off a McEvoy feed to make it a 12-10 game. Kip got the home team within a goal with 10:38 on the clock before Jacob Roy regained WNE’s two-goal edge with 9:00 remaining, but it was all Union from there. Greene and Mabardy tied the score with nearly identical backhanded putaways, with both players finding the net in the final seconds of the shot clock to give the home team momentum.
Donahue made a big save on Hanley with 3:42 left to get Union back the ball and a fortuitous bounce on a long clearing attempt went right into the stick of Lyne, who fed Mabardy in front for the score and a 14-13 lead. The midfield then forced a failed clearing attempt on Western New England’s next possession, and Davis cashed in with an insurance tally to help seal the victory.
Despite being outscored in each of the first three quarters, Union outshot Western New England 14-6 in the fourth quarter to finish the game with a 49-42 edge in shots, with both Donahue and WNE counterpart Carter Randall making 13 saves apiece.
Union will look to avenge one of its regular-season losses tomorrow, as the team takes on a Middlebury squad that posted a 15-9 win in Austin, Texas on March 21.