Blue Jays Fall in Overtime at Messiah

GRANTHAM, Pa. - A squad predicated on youth will sometimes have to take hard knocks to get to the top of the mountain. Certainly, Elizabethtown wasn't hoping these knocks would come all at once. The Blue Jays watched as Messiah scored twice on a man-advantage in the final 1:32 of regulation and then got the game-winner from Heath Kupecky with four ticks left in the first overtime to steal an 11-10 MAC win at Anderson Field Wednesday evening.

E-town controlled possession and the clock in overtime, but inside the final 30 seconds Messiah's Jared Neis forced a turnover and then flung the ball some 80 yards downfield, where his teammate Kupecky picked it up. With only the goalie to beat, the sophomore placed a low bouncer past Brendan Corcoran (Hershey, Pa./Western Reserve Academy) with 4.7 seconds left to give the Falcons (8-2, 6-0 MAC) the win.

Through most of the second half it looked as if the Blue Jays (5-5, 3-4 MAC) were poised to knock Messiah from its perch atop the conference standings. Twice the visitors scored four consecutive goals to take leads in the game.

Shawn Corcoran (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) beat Messiah goalie Zach Cureton twice in a span of 6:46 during the second quarter to put E-town in front 5-3. The Jays outscored Messiah 7-3 over the middle two quarters of Wednesday night's contest.

In a game of runs, Messiah had an answer. The Falcons scored the final goal of the half and then opened the third quarter with two straight to take a 6-5 lead. Elizabethtown then used its second four-goal spurt of the game to take build a 9-6 advantage. The three-goal lead was the largest by either side. Corcoran and Derek Schaaf (West Chester, Pa./West Chester East), who assisted on two of the goals. Schaaf finished with three assists.

Brian Boring's (Laurel, Md./Reservoir) goal with 7:24 to play put Elizabethtown up 10-7, but it would be the final tally for the Jays. Messiah scored three times in the final 2:29 to even the game and send it to the extra session. J.J. Miller and Zac Smith each scored man-up goals seven seconds apart. Smith's marker tied the game with 1:25 to go.

Corcoran's hat trick led the Jays' scoring efforts and the junior added two assists as well. Boushell, Neiheiser and Kline all finished with two goals apiece. Defensively, Casey Decker (Baltimore, Md./Mt. St. Joseph) won all 11 face-offs for E-town.

Kupecky and Kyle Sproles each had a hat trick to kick-start the MC offense. Messiah, which snapped a two-game losing streak to the Blue Jays, got 19 saves from Cureton. Brendan Corcoran made four saves for E-town, which held a 42-34 shot advantage.

The Blue Jays travel to King's Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. start.


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