On what was an emotion packed afternoon in which JU retired the number of one of its fallen teammates, the Dolphins completed a dramatic second half comeback culminating with a game winning overtime goal to defeat Siena 11-10 Saturday. The game was the MAAC opener for both teams.
JU (3-3, 1-0 MAAC) quickly scored the game's first goal and held a 3-2 lead after the first quarter thanks to goals from Ari Waffle (Manlius, N.Y.), Rob Wertz (Lancaster, Pa.), and Austin Curtis (Marcy, N.Y.).
The Saints (1-6, 0-1 MAAC) responded with a big second quarter reeling off four unanswered goals to take a 6-3 lead and all of the game's momentum into halftime.
At halftime there was a special presentation as various teammates and coaches honored Corey Lovrich's family with the retiring of his No. 88 jersey. Lovrich was a captain and member of the JU lacrosse program for two seasons before being diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in the spring of 2011. Sadly, after a valiant fight, he passed away last May in his home state of New York. His No. 88 became the first jersey in the program's history to be retired.
The Dolphins came out motivated in the second half and outscored Siena 5-2 in the third quarter.
With a little over six minutes left in the third period, the Dolphins found themselves in an 8-4 hole.
With their back against the wall, the Dolphins fought back scoring four unanswered goals. JU got two more goals from Wertz along with scores from TJ Kenary (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Conor Igoe (Colombus, Oh.) to send the game to the fourth quarter tied 8-8.
Siena struck first in the fourth scoring with 12:05 left to go ahead 9-8.
JU responded a little over a minute later as Waffle was able to net his second goal of the game off an assist from Quint Miller (Lancaster, Pa.).
The Saints again would take the lead scoring with less than seven minutes remaining in the period to go up 10-9.
After causing a Siena turnover, Curtis scooped up the groundball and went on the attack. Eventually senior captain Cameron Mann (Hamilton, Ont.) found an opening and fired a shot to score his fifth goal of the season to tie the game up at 10.
Both teams were able to ward off shots in the final minute of the quarter to send the game into sudden death overtime.
After being beaten on faceoffs for the majority of the game, JU was able to grab the crucial overtime faceoff and go on the attack.
JU missed a shot but kept possession to setup the dramatic win.
With 2:39 remaining in the overtime period, Kenary found Mann cutting in front of the net. Mann took the pass and fired a shot past the Siena goal keeper to cap off the come from behind win.
Wertz led the way for the Dolphins with three goals while Mann and Waffle each added two. Goal keeper Pete DeLuca (Millersville, Pa.) came up with 10 saves.
JU will face its first conference road test as it travels to Riverdale, N.Y. to face Manhattan. Game time is set for noon.