Providence vs. Saint Joseph's
April 4, 2009
The Game Story:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College men's lacrosse team (5-4, 4-0) outlasted Saint Joseph's University (4-6, 2-2) in four overtimes by a score of 5-4 on Saturday, April 4 at the Friar Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. The win was PC's fifth-straight and it marks the second-consecutive season and only the second time ever in which the team has started 4-0 in MAAC play.

Senior attackman Bobby Labadini (Westford, Mass.) posted the winning goal for the Friars with 2:01 to play in the fourth overtime and finished the day with three points on two goals and an assist.

Saint Joseph's scored the game's first goal on a strike by Scott Cullinan with 12:17 to play in the first quarter. Two minutes later, Friar freshman Evan Olsen (Tampa, Fla.) found the back of the net off an assist from sophomore Evan Helda (Charlotte, N.C.) to tie the score at one.

The Friars took their first lead of the game at the 7:14 mark of the first quarter, when junior Colin Tigh (Garden City, N.Y.) weaved through a number of Hawks defenders and scored to give PC a 2-1 lead. Saint Joe's answered with 3:35 left in the opening quarter, with Tom Dunn notching a goal off an assist from Alex Lopes to knot the score at two.

Providence posted the only score of the second quarter, with Labadini finding an open Mike Feldberg (Voorhees, N.J.) to give the Friars a 3-2 advantage heading into halftime.

After four minutes of scoreless action to open the third quarter, Cullinan recorded his second goal of the day for Saint Joseph's to tie the score at three.

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Much of the fourth quarter featured a defensive struggle before Labadini notched his first goal of the day to put the Friars back on top, 4-3, at the 3:27 mark. A turnover with under a minute to play gave Saint Joe's a final shot to tie the score and the Hawks took advantage. Charlie Gorman beat Providence goaltender Robert Bryan (Apex, N.C.) with 10 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. After a scoreless first overtime, the game advanced into a critical second extra session. With less than two minutes to play, Gorman had a point-blank opportunity for the Hawks but hit the pipe, effectively extending the game into a third extra session.

Both teams had chances to score early in the fourth overtime but could not capitalize. However, Bobby Labadini has made big plays all season for the Friars, and this game was no different. With 2:01 left in the period, Labadini found the top of the net to notch the game-winning goal and keep the Friars atop the MAAC standings with a 4-0 record.

PC benefited all game from the play of sophomore Mike Bowler (Winchester, Mass.). Bowler was 10-of-14 on faceoff opportunities and picked up a team-high seven ground balls to grant the Friars a number of key possessions.

Defensively, the Friars played an excellent game led by junior Ryan Riedl (Winchester, Mass.). Riedl caused four Saint Joe's turnovers and picked up three ground balls.

Bryan played another solid game in net for the Friars, making 12 saves and allowing only four goals (.750 save percentage) in 73:59 minutes of action.

Erik Hotaling took the loss for Saint Joseph's in goal, giving up five goals while making 12 saves in 73:59 minutes in the cage. Cullinan led the Hawks with two goals on the day.

The game was the longest PC has played since the Friars defeated Siena, 4-3, in four overtimes on March 29, 2008.

After today's matchup, Providence travels to Hanover, N.H. for a 3:00 p.m. contest with Dartmouth College on Tuesday, April 7. From there, the Friars remain on the road to play MAAC foe Mt. St. Mary's on Saturday, April 11 at 1:00 p.m. in Emmitsburg, Md.