Quentin DellaFera '15 Puts Home Winner in OT as Men's Lax Advances to NESCAC Semis with 8-7 Win over Bowdoin
For the second straight Saturday, Wesleyan came back from a three-goal deficit to defeat a NESCAC rival, 8-7, this time in overtime against Bowdoin in a NESCAC tournament quarterfinal matchup Sat., April 27. A week ago, Wesleyan knocked off Tufts, 8-7, after trailing 3-0. Bowdoin carried a 6-3 margin into intermission but Wesleyan used a 3-0 third period to knot the score, 6-6, heading into the final period. After going into overtime tied at 7-7, Wesleyan got the game-winning goal from Quentin DellaFera '15 (#12, right side photo), as he completed his hat trick with a dodge from the left side, working his way in front and bouncing a shot into the Bowdoin cage with 1:21 remaining in the extra period. The win avenged a 6-5 overtime setback by Wesleyan at Bowdoin earlier in the season.
Both teams had their offensive stars as well as their standout goalies. Joining DellaFera with a hat trick for Wesleyan was Mike Giambanco '14 (#21, left side photo) while David Murphy '15 had two goals and an assist for the Cardinals. In net, Wesleyan got six saves from reserve goalie JD Dieterich '13 (head shot lower middle), who entered the game late in the second quarter after Bowdoin had moved ahead by three goals. Dieterich played the final 36:06 of the contest, yielding just one goal. He has played in nine games this year, all in reserve, and allowed just six goals in 179 minutes with 27 saves for an 81.8 save percentage and 2.01 goals-against average.
Bowdoin used a three-goal run in a four-minute span between the first and second quarters to take the first multi-goal lead of the contest, 4-2, and erase a 2-1 deficit. Murphy cut the margin to 4-3 at 9:23 of the second quarter but a pair of Polar Bear markers made it 6-3.
A pair of goals from Giambanco, the first a high shot from the right on a man-up situation and the second, a bouncer from the left, made it a 6-5 game at 6:36 of the third period. DellaFera knotted the score with his second of the game at 3:31 with a high shot after collaring a pass to the middle from Murphy.
Bowdoin regained the lead at 5:36 of the fourth period but Wesleyan responded with the tying goal from Murphy at 4:16 as he caught a pass from Aidan Daniell '14, pivoted and found the net for his 16th of the year. Both teams had a possession in the final minutes but could not break the tie.
Wesleyan got the opening possession of overtime as Jeff Giocondi '13 (head shot lower left) won his 14th faceoff of the game against just five losses, but after a timeout, Wesleyan turned the ball over with just over two minutes left in the overtime. Bowdoin moved into the Wesleyan end and called timeout. The Polar Bears lost the ball as well, giving Wesleyan control as Sam Stanton '13 got the grounder and moved downfield. The ball found its way to DellaFera down low on the left and he maneuvered in for the winner, his 17th of the season. Giambanco upped his scoring for the year to 17 goals as well.
Wesleyan advances to the NESCAC semifinals, to be hosted by top-seeded Middlebury Sat., May 4. Middlebury was a 19-9 victor over Amherst in its quarterfinal. The other two semifinalists are second-seeded Conn. College, which downed Hamilton, 8-6, and third-seeded Tufts, a 14-10 winner over Bates, as all home teams came away with triumphs in the first round. The championship game will be at Middlebury Sun., May 5.
When Wesleyan played at Middlebury March 23 during the regular season, the Panthers escaped with a 7-6 decision.