Mcdaniel vs. Gettysburg
April 25, 2003
The Game Story:
CHESTERTOWN, Md. - John O'Bannon (Marshall, VA/Highland) scored a career-high six goals, including the game-winner with 1:09 remaining in the first overtime, as 12th-ranked Gettysburg rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final two minutes to defeat No. 10 McDaniel 9-8 in the Centennial Conference (CC) men's lacrosse semifinals on Friday.

O'Bannon, whose previous career high had been two goals in a game, single-handedly kept the Bullets (11-4) in the contest throughout regulation before taking a cross-field feed from Evan Gallant (Lutherville, MD/Loyola Blakefield) and ripping the overtime winner past Green Terror goalie Mike Korba to send Gettysburg into the CC championship game.

The Bullets will face Washington for the conference title on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Shoremen downed Franklin & Marshall 13-6 in Friday's first semifinal.

The loss overshadowed a four-goal, five-point outing for McDaniel senior Joe Ellis, whose squad fell in the CC semifinals as a No. 2 seed for the third consecutive season. Rob Weaver chipped in with a goal and three assists. Trailing 8-6 after a Weaver unassisted goal with 4:01 left in regulation, Gettysburg rallied to save its season and earn a shot at the program's eighth CC championship.

Following a Green Terror turnover with 1:52 to play, O'Bannon tucked a left-side rip inside the near post to pull the Bullets within a goal at the 1:22 mark.

Chris Renzi (Fairport, NY/Fairport) gave Gettysburg possession with a face-off win. O'Bannon and Peter Politi (Wilton, CT/Wilton) each missed on shots to tie before Chase Stewart (Downingtown, PA/Downingtown) curled from behind the net off a restart and scored to deadlock the game at 8 with 22.5 seconds left.

Renzi won the face-off to start the overtime period and the Bullets never lost possession over the extra 2 minutes, 51 seconds, firing off five shots before O'Bannon connected on the game-winner.

Down 4-1 midway through the second quarter, McDaniel rallied with five straight goals, the last four coming in a span of 3:10, to take a 6-4 lead into the fourth quarter.

Ellis scored on the doorstep to make it 4-2, then got credit for a goal that was knocked into the Gettysburg net by a Bullet defender with 4:55 left in the third quarter. Pete Shaffer scored a man-up goal 27 seconds later to knot the game at 4 and Ellis scored off a restart at the 2:08 mark to give the Green Terror a 5-4 lead.

Brad Darrah finished off a pretty feed from Justin Merson 23 seconds later to cap the burst.

O'Bannon's fourth goal of the game pulled Gettysburg within 6-5 early in the fourth and his fifth marker cut the deficit to 7-6 with 7:36 remaining. Weaver scored on a curling solo move with 4:01 left, giving McDaniel an 8-6 lead and setting up the Bullets' late-game heroics.

After Ellis staked McDaniel to a 1-0 lead midway through the first quarter, Gettysburg struck for the game's next four goals. Following a timeout, Jake Van Nostrand (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) circled the net and scored off a feed from Nick Purkat (Annandale, VA/W.T. Woodson) to knot the game at 1 with 7:13 left in the first quarter.

The game remained knotted until the Bullets struck for three goals in 2 minutes, 21 seconds midway through the second. O'Bannon gave Gettysburg a 2-1 lead with a left-side solo run at the 9:47 mark, then ripped home a drive exactly one minute later for a two-goal edge.

Stewart cashed in an extra-man opportunity from nearly the same spot, taking a feed from O'Bannon to make it 4-1 with 7:26 left in the half. The win was Gettysburg's seventh straight against the Green Terror, and second in the past four days. The Bullets rallied for a 10-7 victory on Tuesday in Westminster, scoring five straight goals in the fourth quarter of that contest.

Gettysburg will be seeking its sixth consecutive CC title on Sunday. Washington is the only other program to capture a Centennial crown, winning championships in 1996 and 1997. The Shoremen edged the Bullets 9-8 when the teams met during the regular season.