Hampden-sydney vs. Roanoke
March 25, 2006
The Game Story:
HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA (March 25, 2006) As far as collegiate lacrosse games go, not many can claim they were better to watch then the one played today by the #12 Hampden-Sydney Tigers and the visiting #6 Maroon of Roanoke College. The game was ripe with acrobatic goals, huge hits, heated competition and even some snowfall prior to start time. The Maroons (7-2/ ODAC 2-0) would win the game on a brilliant five goal performance by attack Zach Thomas and the loss evened Hampden-Sydney's record to 3-3 and 0-1 in the ODAC.

The Tiger attack came out of the opening face-off like a team possessed scoring three goals to Roanoke's zero goals before five minutes had ticked off the clock. Senior captain Vince Smith (Palmyra, VA/St. Anne's Belfield) had a hand in each of the first three goals as he first found junior William Shell (Alexandria, VA/St. Stephen's) just thirty six seconds into the first period to put the Tigers up 1-0. Smith would then score his first of two goals on the day from a honey of a pass from junior Michael Via (Virginia Beach, VA/Norfolk Academy). At the 10:26 mark, Shell received a Smith pass three feet away from the cage, where he ripped it past ODAC player of the week, goal keeper Matt Madalon.

Almost as quickly as the Tigers scored three goals did the Maroons erase that lead to nil by the end of the first period. The first Roanoke strike came at 7:34 on an unassisted strike by Adam Leahy, making the score 3-1. At 2:25 in the first Scott Pattison took a crisp pass from Roanoke two-sport standout (soccer) Chris Keating for the Maroon's second goal of the game. In hindsight the game tying goal by Zach Thomas at just :49 remaining in the first may have been an good omen for Roanoke.

In the second period, goals were exchanged by both teams as junior Thomas Jennings (Murfreesboro.TN/ Webb School) threaded the needle to score a goal on the low right side of Madalon but took a big hit which kept him out of the game until the fourth period. Answering Thomas's goal was Roanoke leading scorer, Jon Mason at 3:26 in the second period. Minutes later the tigers responded and would take the lead going into half time minutes later as senior captain Eamon Thornton (Atlanta, GA/McCallie) scored his tenth goal of the year unassisted. The score at half was 5-4.

In the third both teams came out aggressively. The Tigers were the first to score on an end to end goal lead by senior captain and 2005 Honorable Mention All-American John Pritzlaff (Castle Rock, CO/ Kent Denver). On a clear attempt, Pritzlaff eluded a mid fielder and sprinted the length of the field to find a slashing Vince Smith to give the Tigers a 6-4 lead. However, the Roanoke coaching staff questioned whether or not Pritzlaff's stick was legal and the referee's conference resulted in a 1:00 minute penalty for the senior. With the man up advantage, the Maroon's Zach Thomas would score unassisted this time leaving his team down by just one, 6-5.

Still in the third period, the Tigers responded well as William Shell scored is first hat trick of the season on what would be Michael Via's second assist of the game. Up by a score of 7-5 the Tigers attempted another clear, lead by sophomore defender Ian York ( Charlottesville, VA/ St. Anne's-Belfield, who on a clear from midfield, hustled to his right and ripped a goal with his long stick giving the Tigers a 8-5 lead with 8:58 remaining in the third period.

The #6 team in the land would not give up as an inspired Zach Thomas took control of the Roanoke offense. Thomas scored his third goal to answer York's goal at 6:53 and would bury another for his fourth just over two minutes later. As the third period came to an end, Josh Bryant scored with just :37 seconds remaining to tie the game at 9-9.

In the final period the visitors from Roanoke scored first on their ninth unassisted goal of the game by Matt Duke with 10:46 to go. Now down 10-9, the Tigers looked to even the score but once again Zach Thomas struck again with his fifth goal of the game at the 5:16 mark. The Tigers Vince Smith would score the most acrobatic goal of the game as he took a feed from Michael Via while diving towards the cage and somehow managed to catch and rip a low liner of a shot past Madalon to make the score 11-10 in favor of Roanoke. Sad that either team would have to lose such a great game but the Maroons prevailed in the end by one.

The Tigers look to rebound as they travel to play another ODAC rival in Randolph-Macon on Wednesday March 29, 2006 at 4:00pm.