LANCASTER, Pa. – Junior Sam Mutz scored the game-winner 16 seconds into overtime as the 10th-ranked Ursinus men's lacrosse team completed a thrilling 16-15 comeback win over No. 15 Franklin & Marshall in a clash between Centennial Conference titans at Shadek Stadium.
Ursinus (10-1, 4-1) started slow but finished the fourth quarter and overtime emphatically as the Bears netted two goals in the closing minutes of regulation, setting up Mutz' shot open in front of the cage on their first overtime possession that sent the visitors home with their fourth win over a ranked opponent this season.
The Bears outscored the Diplomats, 6-2, over the course of the last quarter, storming back to force extra time after trailing 13-9 before the last 15 minutes of play.
Senior Peter DeSimone was masterful on attack, headlining the Ursinus comeback. DeSimone totaled seven goals to establish a new single-game school record and added the assist on Mutz' overtime dagger. In the process, the lefty attack rose to the top of the career points chart in Ursinus history. His eight-point day moved his total to 179 points, passing 2007 graduate Anthony Tori's 176.
Sophomore Hakan Atillasoy also collected eight points on five goals and three assists. The third member of the attacking trio was junior Bobby McClure, whose hat trick gave him 100 career goals just a game after re-writing the season total for goals by a Bear.
Franklin & Marshall (9-4, 4-1), the last unbeaten team in CC play, jumped out to a 5-0 lead and maintained that margin (10-5) at intermission. The Diplomats were on cruise control until the Ursinus offense got rolling in the second half, reversing roles by scoring 10 goals to F&M's five in the last half.
A goal by McClure at the end of the third quarter got the Bears within four. Atillasoy beat a F&M defender as he hesitated and went up and over to finish off his third goal and make it 13-10. His tally ignited a three-goal stretch that bridged the fourth quarter.
DeSimone worked by the defense for an open shot between the legs of the keeper to cut the deficit to two with 9:23 to play.
The energy was increasingly building for the Bears with each score. F&M scored less than two minutes later but the Bears got right back to it. Ursinus went on a quick two-goal spurt from 7:35 to 6:47 to get within a goal (14-13) as DeSimone scored his sixth and Atillasoy pocketed his fourth.
The Diplomats were feeling the pressure of the Bears never-give-up attitude, but F&M again managed to push its lead to two goals with under six minutes to play.
With over two minutes to play, senior defender Alex Middleman triggered the fast break, dumping it off to DeSimone for the goal.
Needing a goal to tie, the Bears turned it over but the Diplomats did so too, setting up Atillasoy's game-tying wrap-around goal with 38 seconds left.
Sophomore Aiden Baltz won the ensuing faceoff, giving the Bears a shot to win it in regulation. The visitors' chances expanded when the Diplomats were called for a minor holding penalty before McClure blasted a shot just wide with a couple seconds to go. Baltz won 16-of-27 face-offs but didn't need to get one in overtime as the extra-man opportunity negated the overtime draw.
Senior goalie Nick Kirk stood strong in the cage, giving the Bears the ability to come back. Kirk saved 15 shots.
Both goalkeepers made several saves early on, keeping both strong offenses off the board until more than five minutes in. Franklin & Marshall's Kevin Mollihan scored to start a stretch of five goals in less than five minutes. Luke Keating added back-to-back goals within a dozen seconds of each other during the flurry, and A.J. Rigsby made it 5-0 at 5:03 in the first quarter.
On the man-up, DeSimone got the Bears on the board and into an offensive rhythm when he ripped a one-timer low off the ground past the keeper.
DeSimone netted his second from long range as he took a pass from senior Sam Isola before slinging the ball into the net with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.
Opening up the second quarter scoring, Atillasoy registered a goal off a McClure pass which capped a three-goal unanswered streak for the Bears.
After a Diplomats score, DeSimone notched his first-half hat trick as he slung a lefty shot that short-hopped the goalie into the net.
Keating scored back-to-back goals, part a four-goal first half and eight-goal afternoon (six goals, two assists).
McClure gave the Bears his first goal with 27 ticks left in the half but the Dipomats added a goal with only five seconds left until intermission to go into the break up 10-5.
The Diplomats were penalized at the end of the second quarter, giving the Bears a three-minute man-up advantage. DeSimone sent his fourth goal in about 30 ticks into the third quarter.
Franklin & Marshall attempted more shots (46-35) and committed fewer turnovers (20-15).
The Bears look to build on the huge away win as they host Haverford next Saturday at 3 p.m.