Norman Gives Wingate Triple OT Victory Over Mount Olive

Wingate, N.C.---Wingate freshman midfield Kevin Norman (Ocala, Fla.) scored the game-winning goal with 8.9 seconds remaining in the third overtime, capping a furious rally as the Bulldogs defeated Mount Olive, 15-14, in lacrosse action Saturday at the Irwin Belk Track Complex turf field. Bulldog freshman attack Tanner Kotch (Butler, Pa.) assisted Norman on his game-winner (NCAA box score).

Wingate is 2-0 overall, while Mount Olive falls to 2-1 overall. The Bulldogs trailed 10-2 early in the third quarter before mounting their comeback. Wingate plays its first-ever South Atlantic Conference game Wednesday, visiting Coker College for a 3:00 p.m. start. Mount Olive's next game is also at Coker on Saturday, March 1 (4:00 p.m.).

Bulldog freshman attack Austin Murphy (Orillia, Ontario) led the hosts with five goals and three assists. Norman had three goals, while sophomore attack Ryan Vogrig (Vancouver, B.C.) had one goal and a team-best four assists. UMO sophomore attack Matt Shields (Mercer Island, Wash.) led the visitors with four goals.

I can't think of a time when I've been more proud of a team...than I have been today," Wingate head coach Michael Lawson says. "Our kids showed much grit...many teams, when they are down 10-2...would pack it in. We fought like crazy."

Norman tied the game with 11 seconds left on an assist from Vogrig. Two of Norman's three goals came in the pivotal fourth quarter, when Wingate outscored Mount Olive 8-3. Murphy scored four of his five goals in the fateful fourth frame.

The Trojans led 9-2 at intermission, thanks to two goals each from sophomore attack Stephen Bowlan (Port Republic, Md.) and junior midfield Alex Tindall (Seattle, Wash.). Shields scored the first goal of the third quarter on an assist from junior attack Cameron Walsh (Farmingville, N.Y.), making the score 10-2 Mount Olive and setting the stage for Wingate's dramatic comeback.

Wingate put together an 8-1 run to cut the deficit to 11-10 on an unassisted goal by Murphy with 11:21 remaining in regulation. Murphy had three goals in the flurry, while five teammates had one goal each. Shields scored his third goal to tie the score two minutes later. Norman and Murphy answered to tie the score 12-12 with 6:37 to play.

The two teams traded two goals each down the stretch. A Murphy-from-Vogrig connection tied the score at 13-13 (3:40). Shields tallied his fourth and final goal at the 2:18 mark, giving the visitors their final lead 14-13. Both teams had chances in the waning moments, but Norman was the only person to find the back of the nets.

"Both teams played a great game," Lawson says. "When we got rolling, it boosted our confidence...and we started clicking on all cylinders. The coaching staff had faith...and the players delivered. It was an amazing, crazy day."

Wingate senior midfield Bryce Sneed (Apex, N.C.) won 23 of 31 face-offs to help set the table for the Bulldog offense. He added one goal and a team-best 12 ground balls. Nine different Wingate players found the back of the nets Saturday.

The Bulldogs outshot the Trojans 50-44. Wingate held a slim 43-40 edge in ground balls. Wingate freshman goalie Michael Connor (Stockport, England) entered the game at halftime to earn his first collegiate victory. In 41-plus minutes, Connor allowed five goals and recorded 12 saves. Mount Olive sophomore net minder Ross Bowman (New Westminster, B.C.) went the distance (71:52); he surrendered 15 goals and notched 16 saves.

* * * *

WINGATE, N.C. Matt Shields scores four goals but it was not enough to defeat Wingate University in triple overtime in non-conference men's lacrosse Saturday afternoon in Wingate, N.C.

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2014-02-22



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