VIRGINIA BEACH -- A frustrating day of shooting could have gotten the best of any team.
Virginia Wesleyan College's men's lacrosse team kept plugging away however, in Saturday's Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) game against the Hornets of Shenandoah University and saw the persistence pay off.
Two-time All-American Josh Currier (Peterborough, Ontario/Holy Name-Hill Academy) fired a rocket from about 20 yards out on the right to land the game's winning goal with 1:01 remaining in overtime, lifting the Marlins to a thrilling 11-10 victory on Foster Field at the Trinder Center.
Currier's goal capped a strong comeback by the Marlins (6-3, 3-0), who outscored Shenandoah 5-1 from the start of fourth quarter to the end of overtime. Senior Mike Moran (Woolwich, N.J./Kingsway Regional) scored two goals in the rally and rookie Joe Couture (Rutland, Vt./Rutland) added one as the Marlins erased a 9-6 deficit.
Senior John Roth (Merrick, N.Y./Calhoun) pulled the Trinder crowd to its feet however, as he notched the game-tying goal with just 44 seconds remaining in regulation play as he fired a shot over the goalie's shoulder into the top right corner of the net.
The Marlins fired 24 shots in the fourth quarter, and a season-high 70 in the game, but saw several shots blocked and at least five hit the post or crossbar, including two in the final 44 seconds of regulation time. Shenandoah's 6-foot-3, 220 pound goalie Ben Judy (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) contributed to the lack of scoring, as he produced 23 saves, including 10 in the third quarter.
There were six ties and five lead changes throughout the game, which saw Shenandoah (4-6, 0-3) own the largest lead at 9-6 after a 4-0 third quarter. Senior Aaron Paul (Culpeper, Va./Northern Virginia Community College) scored twice and sophomores Stephen LaTona (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) and Tilghman Sanders (Cockeysville, Md./Dulaney) tallied once each to take the Hornets from a 6-5 deficit into a 9-6 lead entering the final quarter.
Moran stopped Shenandoah's run with a goal at the 12:18 mark of the quarter, Couture followed with a goal 17 seconds later to make it a 9-8 game, and Moran tie the game at 9-all with a shot and score with 6:45 on the clock, getting the ball into the lower right corner of the net.
Paul came through for Shenandoah to put the Hornets back in front at 10-9 with 4:30 on the clock, before Roth emerged with his electrifying goal with 44 seconds remaining.
Rory Finnegan (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) came through for a crucial stop on a Shenandoah shot midway through the overtime. He finished with nine saves overall. Junior Ben Fletcher (Westminster, Md./Westminster) aided the defensive effort with four caused turnovers.
While VWC produced the advantage in shots, the Marlins also recorded a 45-32 advantage in ground balls. Senior Joe Papetti (Edgewater, Md./South River) and sophomore Josh Davis (Salem/Salem) led the effort with six ground balls each.
Moran led Marlin scoring with four goals, while Currier finished with three goals and a team-leading two assists for five points. Currier increased his career point total to 204, marking him as only the second player in VWC history to surpass the 200-point plateau. Tom Lewis scored 215 points from 1995 through 1998.
Paul led Shenandoah's goal production with five, while Sanders led the team in assists with three.
Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Saturday, April 4, when the Marlins head to Salem, Va. to take on the Maroons of Roanoke College in ODAC play beginning at 2 p.m.