The Drexel Dragons stole the win Sunday with 15 seconds left in regulation, downing the Lafayette Leopards 12-11.
In an evenly matched game, Drexel built a three-goal lead early in the second half, but saw Lafayette's balanced offense hang in and eventually tie the game with 1:05 remaining. But Adam Dennis found himself open on the wing in the final moments of the fourth to put this one away for the Dragons.
DREXEL UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE:
Adam Dennis Scores the Game Winner in Final Minute as Men's Lax Defeats No. 8 Lafayette, 12-11
Adam Dennis scored the game-winning goal with just 15 seconds to play as No. 11 Drexel held off No. 8 Lafayette, 12-11, in Easton Pa. The Dragons (7-2) recorded their second win against a top 10 team this year and handed the Leopards (6-1) their first loss of the season.
Drexel led by four at 11-7 entering the final 15 minutes, but the Leopards’ potent offense started to heat up. Steve Serling scored three straight goals, one in the early stages of the quarter, one halfway through the period and the last which tied the game at the 3:02 mark. Two minutes later, the Dragons forced a turnover, but gave it right back as Colin Serling picked off a pass and dodged his way in front of the net and tied the game at 11-11. On the ensuing face-off, Drexel’s Ryan West won the draw and the Dragons called time to set up their offense. The Dragons maintained possession, worked the ball around and came away with the win when Dennis banked one off the pipe and into the cage for his third goal of the game.
Drexel scored two goals in the final two minutes of the first quarter to take a 5-3 lead after one quarter. The lead increased to 6-3 just six seconds into the second quarter as the Dragons won the face-off clean and Kevin Stockel ripped a shot into the Leopards’ cage. The score stayed the same for the next eight minutes, before Lafayette’s offense got going. The momentum swung towards the home team when the Leopards scored three times in the span of just over four minutes to tie the score at 6-6. However, the Dragons made two big plays to take the lead back before intermission. With 1:37 to play Scott Perri set up Colin Ambler’s 12th goal of the season. Drexel got the ball back again and Perri scored an unassisted goal with just four ticks left on the clock to give the Dragons an 8-6 lead at the break.
Drexel kept the pressure on and played a solid third quarter, increasing its lead to 11-7. The Dragons scored three of the four goals in the period. Dennis, Scott Perri and Robert Church were Drexel’s goal scorers.
Mark Manos picked up his seventh win of the season, recording 15 saves in the process. Church, Stockel and Perri each recorded a pair of goals to go along with Dennis’ hat trick. Perri also had a pair of assists and now has 30 points on the season. Ryan West won 12 of his 22 face-off attempts and had a team-best eight ground balls.
Lafayette entered the game as one of three unbeaten Division I men’s lacrosse teams (North Carolina and Virginia are the others). The Leopards had four goals from both Colin and Steve Serling. Vinny DePasquale picked up 11 saves.
Drexel returns home after ending its three-game road stretch. The Dragons open play in the Colonial Athletic Association on Saturday afternoon against Hofstra. The Pride, ranked sixth in the latest USILA Poll, was the preseason favorite to win the CAA. The game begins at 4 p.m. and can be seen live on The Comcast Network.