Seton Hill Loses Overtime Heartbreaker to No. 6 NYIT

The Griffin men's lacrosse team lost a heartbreaker 17-16 against the New York Institute of Technology on Saturday. The game was a highly anticipated one coming in, and for the couple hundred fans who were in attendance today, the contest surely did not disappoint. It was definitely a tale of two halves, as NYIT came out a blazing in the first 30 minutes and took a commanding lead into the intermission.

However, the Griffin's showed the heart of a lion as they reached down deep and mounted a huge comeback in the second half to force it to overtime. Unfortunately, the men gave up a goal in OT to fall to NYIT 17-16. With the loss, the Griffins fall to 2-2 overall, (1-2 in ECC play).

NYIT got out of the gates early as they scored the game's first 2 goals within the first four minutes of the contest. NYIT then added two additional scores before the Griffin's Josh Holland was finally able to get SHU going with a goal late in the first quarter. However, the Bears yet again found the back of the net with 1:00 remaining and, at the end of one, NYIT was in control 3-1.

In the second quarter, NYIT continued to put their foot on the gas as they scored three more goals within the first five minutes of the quarter. The Griffin's responded with a goal from Greg Chaples only to surrender another one to the Bears a little more than a minute later. SHU got on the board late in the half but, yet again, NYIT responded and scored two quick goals to go into the half with a commanding lead 11-3.

Whatever Coach Brian Novotny said at halftime must have been quite inspirational because SHU came out in the third like a brand new team. As soon as they stepped foot back on the turf, they seemed much more focused and intense. The Griffins totally dominated the Bears in the third quarter as they outscored NYIT 8-4 to cut the lead to 15-11 going into the final fifteen minutes of play.

Both Josh Holland and Joel Zalesky shined as they went off scoring three goals apiece. This dynamic duo contributed 6 of the 8 goals for the Griffins in the quarter. Seton Hill wasted no time maintaining the momentum they gained from the third quarter as they found the back of the net twice in less than two minutes of action in the final stanza.

With the score 15-13 and the crowd starting to get a little rowdy, the Bears flexed their muscles and scored a key goal to increase their lead to 3, 16-13 with 9:42 remaining. However, the Griffin's tenacity and perseverance paid off as they were able to score 3 more goals, the last coming at the 1:17 mark, to put the game into overtime. NYIT, to its credit, came out in the overtime and scored the game winning goal a little over a minute in.

Well although it was a very tough loss for SHU, they showed great toughness as they climbed their way back into the game and forced overtime. Freshman Josh Holland had a career day as he finished with 5 goals to lead the Griffins. Senior Joel Zalesky was his usual self as he ended with 4 goals and 2 assists on the afternoon. Both Justin Menefee and Greg Chaples were more than solid as they both found the net on three different occasions and added an assist.

Although SHU was dominated in the statistical category, the Griffins still had a chance to win it at the end. NYIT held a 59-26 advantage in shots and the Bears were also able to win 21-35 (60%) faceoffs. Even despite all of that, many believe that if Seton Hill had just another minute on the clock in that fourth quarter, then the Griffins would have came away with the victory. Corey Struss was sensational all game long as he made 27 saves in a losing effort. Corey was a brick wall in the second half as he stopped almost everything that was shot at him.

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