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Cimbalista Gives “Snow ‘Dogs” Overtime Victory

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QUEENS, N.Y. Jeff Cimbalista (New Hope, Pa.) scored 14 seconds into overtime as the No. 6 Yale University men’s lacrosse team remained undefeated, beating St. John’s 11-10 on a snowy afternoon.

The Bulldogs, who last started 4-0 in 2011, received three goals from Conrad Oberbeck (Greenwich, Conn.), now tied for 11th in school history with 137 points.

St. John’s got on the board first 3:30 into the game. The goal was scored by Jason DeBenedictis (Holbrook, N.Y.) assisted by Eric DeJohn (Syracuse, N.Y.).

Jason Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) tied the game at one with 9:24 left in the opening period. The rookie’s third goal of the season was unassisted.

The Red Storm broke the deadlock when Stefan Diachenko (Courtice, Ont.) capitalized off a failed clear attempt at the 9:01 mark. Thomas Marron (Annadale, N.J.) was credited with the helper.

Eric Scott (Basking Ridge, N.J.) ripped one past St. John’s goalie Harry Burke (Hillsborough, N.J.) with 4:41 left in the first to tie the score at two.

The visitors took their first lead of the non-conference game when Colin Flaherty (Eastport, N.Y.) scored with 48.9 seconds remaining in an evenly-played opening period.

Second quarter scoring opened when the Red Storm took advantage of another failed clear attempt by the Elis. DeJohn put the sphere past goalie Eric Natale (Westminster, Md.) at the 5:09 mark. The junior found the back of the net again 1:09 later to give St. John’s a 4-3 lead.

Yale then reeled off three goals in a 1:24 span to take a 6-4 lead with 5:51 left in the first half.

Oberbeck scored a goal for the 28th-straight game off a Cimbalista pass at the 7:45 mark. The 28 contests with a goal is the second-longest active streak in the NCAA.

Michael Keasey (Newport Beach, Calif.) gave the Elis the lead with an unassisted goal 45 seconds later.

Oberbeck scored his 107th career goal with 5:51 left in the second quarter. The tally moved the senior into second place on the career scoring chart; Adam Purtiz, 1994-1996, scored 106 goals.

Ben Reeves (Macedon, N.Y.) increased the lead to 7-4 with 2:36 remaining until intermission. The freshman intercepted a Red Storm pass intended for the goalie and put the ball into the vacated cage.

The home team broke the Bulldogs string of goals with 1:13 remaining in the first half. Jackson O’Leary (Westfield, N.J.) scored man-up with assistance from DeBenedictis.

St. John’s cut the lead to a single goal when Natale was caught up by a change up thrown by James Bonanno (Wantagh, N.Y.) 1:37 into the third quarter.

Keasey got the advantage back to two with his second of the game at the 4:14 mark.

Off a trio of pushing penalties by Yale defenders, the hosts cut the lead back to one with 9:58 left in the third. DeJohn was able to complete his hat trick on the man up.

Cimbalista gave the visitors a bit of cushion at the 10:49 mark. The sophomore elevated to one-time a Scott dish into the cage.

The teams entered the final quarter with Yale leading 9-7, but with the Red Storm going man-up on a two-minute Cimbalista penalty.

DeJohn scored his fourth goal of the contest on the man up situation. The junior finished off a precision passing sequence on the back door.

The squad’s leading scorers, DeJohn and Oberbeck, traded goals nine seconds apart to maintain the Bulldogs’ lead. Both players’ 14th goals of the season were unassisted.

The play on the white field went back and forth over the final minutes of regulation. Both teams goalies came up with huge saves down the stretch. Natale snared a Diachenko bouncer with two minutes left and Burke snatched a Cimbalista howlister with a minute remaining.

The Red Storm tied the scored with 25.6 seconds remaining. Nick Heller (Beverly Hills, Calif.) ripped one over Natale’s shoulder to send the game to extra time.

Jonathan Reese (West Islip, N.Y.) won the face-off and assisted on the game-winner.

Natale finished with 11 saves in his fourth victory of the season.

The Bulldogs (4-0, 0-0 Ivy) continue non-conference play at home versus Fairfield on March 7. Game time is set for 1:30p.m.

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