CARLISLE, Pa. - First-year Ethan Gess netted the winner 22-seconds into the first overtime period to help the top-seeded Dickinson men's lacrosse team overcome a seven-goal fourth-quarter rally by the visiting Gettysburg College Bullets to earn a 10-9 victory on Saturday afternoon at a damp, but packed Biddle Field. It was the third time the two schools matched-up in the Centennial Conference Championship with each contest resulting in a one-goal win for the Red and White.
The goalies were on full display early as the Devils Chris Brandau recorded four saves in the opening ten minutes, while at the other end the Bullets Scott MacMillan was tasked with making just one stop on Matt Thurston. Both teams defenses were stellar early as there were just eight combined shots through the first eleven minutes, until Owen Porter broke the ice finishing off a nice feed from Gess. That woke up the Devils attack as John McKee won the ensuing draw leading to a pair of shots from James Isaacson before Will Farrell stashed one beyond the reach of MacMillan. Skyler Schluter tried to add one more onto the lead heading to the second, but the Bullets keeper was up to the task with 37-seconds left.
After Gallagher took the first shot of the second for the visitors the Red and White recorded the following four attempts with Farrell and Thurston shooting wide of the target prior to Thurston burying the rock as well as Porter cashing in his second of the contest to extend the margin to 4-0 at the 3:01 mark. Gettysburg still looking for its first marker of the game had shots by Kyle Howard and Quinton Mather sail past the cage, while Jack Dunleavy forced yet another save out of Brandau. However, all that effort would go in vain as it would be Thurston who rippled the twine for his second. A minute later Brandau turned aside Spencer Knife leading shots by Tucker Booth and Schluter, but none of them beat MacMillan. The Devils capped off a five-goal period with tallies from Farrell and Schluter to take what was thought to be a commanding 7-0 lead into halftime.
The Bullets came out of the break on fire scoring on their first two shots thanks to George Raymond and Quinton Mather to trim the gap to 7-2. Gettysburg kept applying pressure to the Red Devils crease, but Brandau was strong yet again denying Gallagher, Mather, and Raymond on consecutive shots to hold the score where it was. Dickinson seemed to ride that momentum over the next couple of minutes as Isaacson and Thurston both hit the back of the net, while Sam Campbell came inches away, but was stopped by MacMillan keeping the DC lead at 9-2 with 4:06 left. The visitors added four more shots in the period with Brandau having to come up with saves four and five to let the home side carry a 9-2 edge into the final 15-minutes.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Bullets as Gallagher and Raymond scored on the first two shots of the period to close within 9-4 with just two minutes off the clock. Then, Gettysburg added to their total with goals by Connor Hume, Howard, Knife, and Raymond to bring the gap to just one at 9-8 still with 6:16 to play. Dickinson was limited to just one shot over the first ten minutes, before Booth had an attempt blocked by the defense and Schluter was shutdown by MacMillan. The Bullets recorded four more shots forcing Brandau into one save, before Kieran Ward found Hume at the top of the crease for the game-tying goal at the 14:23 mark. On the ensuing faceoff the Devils won control through McKee, however, the rock was jarred out of his stick resulting in a massive scrum for the loose ball with the clock hitting triple zeros. During the chase Dominic Yorio was spotted for a slash leading to the Devils starting the overtime man-up.
It took just 22-ticks for the Red and White to work the ball around the box, before Schluter found a cutting Gess for the game-winning finish.
Brandau was named the tournament most valuable player making 23 saves across the two games, including 14 on Saturday.
Red Devil Leaders
Goals - Thurston (3), Farrell and Porter (2)
Assists - Booth (4), Thurston (2)
Groundballs - McKee (10), Teddy Macfarlane (3)
Saves - Brandau (14)
Goals - Raymond (3), Hume (2)
Assists - Howard (2)
Groundballs - Johathan Moshe (4)
Saves - MacMillan (8)
Up Next - NCAA Tournament
Dickinson (18-0, 8-0 Centennial) will head to the NCAA Tournament next week after securing the Centennial Conference's automatic bid. The Red and White have made a strong case to be a host site for next weekend's second and third round and will find out if they have done enough to earn that right tomorrow night at 9 p.m. during the selection show. The show will be available to stream on ncaa.com.