ALLENTOWN, Pa. – For the nearly two decades that men's lacrosse has been a sport at Ursinus, no player had been able to score more than six goals in a game until Peter DeSimone netted seven a week and a half ago. Wednesday night at Muhlenberg, Hakan Atillasoy put down a marker that could take a long time to match.
Atillasoy went buck wild with a ruthless display of pin-point sniping, pouring in a school-record nine goals on just 11 shots to lead the 13th-ranked Bears back into the Centennial Conference playoffs with a 20-11 victory over the Mules. The sophomore's historic effort was part of an avalanche of 11 unanswered goals spanning around the midway point of the second quarter to the midway point of the third as Ursinus turned a 6-5 deficit into a runaway rout.
Junior Bobby McClure added four goals and two assists for the Bears (11-2, 5-2), who can do no worse than the number three seed in the conference tournament with a win over Dickinson on Saturday.
Atillasoy had a hat trick halfway through the first quarter, scoring three times to help the Bears to an early 5-1 lead.
The Mules (10-5, 3-4), still nursing playoff hopes of their own, flipped the momentum with a stretch of five goals in a row – two of them from James Dalimonte – to go up 6-5 with 10:47 to play in the second quarter. After that, Ursinus flipped a switch.
McClure tied the game at 6-6 on a feed from freshman Tre Tillman before Atillasoy scored back-to-back unassisted goals, the second of which was succeeded 16 seconds later by another from McClure. Junior Evan Scott's goal at the 4:46 mark made it 10-6 and lifted the Bears into the break with all of the momentum and a four-goal edge.
Ursinus left the Mules in the dust from the opening faceoff of the third quarter. Senior Brian Casey won the draw and quickly fed ahead to McClure for a snap shot and a goal seven seconds into the second half, and Atillasoy came from behind the net for a wrap-around goal 13 ticks later.
Atillasoy then ignited one of three sequences in which the Bears scored goals less than 15 seconds apart, using a fake to free himself for a side-armed rocket on a man advantage to tie DeSimone's mark with 11:31 remaining. Just 13 ticks later, Tillman picked up a loose ball off the faceoff and sprinted ahead for a quick shot into the back of the cage for his first collegiate goal.
After Scott dodged his man and roofed a lefty shot past Muhlenberg goalie Garrett Pope, Atillasoy broke the single-game record in remarkably simple fashion. After DeSimone helped force a turnover on a failed clear, the senior used a quick re-start to find Atillasoy all alone in front of the crease, and the sophomore had an easy task to dump the ball into the twine for his eighth of the night and a 16-6 lead with 8:52 on the third-quarter clock.
Atillasoy's ninth was another easy one, as he poked the ball away from Pope on a clearing attempt and finished into an empty net to make it 18-10 midway through the fourth quarter. Seven seconds after that, freshman Tommy Reinhart scored off a feed from Casey directly following the senior's win at the X.
After Ursinus conceded 13 of 18 faceoffs in the first half, Casey's individual turnaround helped the Bears put Muhlenberg away. Casey wound up going 14-for-27 overall, scooping seven ground balls and dishing out two assists.
The Bears racked up 52 shots and put 20 of them past Pope, who came in leading the conference in goals-against average and save percentage.
Ursinus wraps up the regular season on Saturday, when the Bears honor their seniors prior to taking on the 15th-ranked Red Devils.