ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – SUNY Oneonta scored the final four goals, including the game-winner from Hunter DeLuca 37 seconds into double overtime, to defeat Elizabethtown 10-9 in a non-conference game at Wolf Field Sunday afternoon.
Sophomore Joe Clark scored a career-high six goals and finished with eight points for the Jays, but it was the Red Dragons (1-0) who avenged last year’s one-goal defeat to E-town with some late offense.
After falling behind 5-4 at the half, the Blue Jays scored five of the next six goals to take a 9-6 lead with 9:47 left in the game. Clark was at his best in the second half. He netted both third quarter goals for the Blue Jays (1-1), first at 8:35 off a pass from Jordan Bowser, and then at 5:56 with help from Kevin Meakim.
Nick Specht kept the momentum rolling in Elizabethtown’s favor, as his goal 1:41 into the fourth made it 7-5. Clark then wrapped two more goals around one from Oneonta’s Mike Metzger to make it 9-6.
Three straight shots from the Red Dragons found twine inside the final 5:21 of regulation to tie it. Connor Coyle (5:21), DeLuca (3:59) and Dan King (3:10, man-up) all scored for the visitors to force overtime.
Each team struck for two man-up goals. The Blue Jays were 2-for-8 and the Red Dragons 2-for-6 with the man advantage.
Elizabethtown goalie Chris Wenger made a big save at the start of overtime to deny Robert Neubert, but his counterpart, Ryan Adler, answered with the biggest of his 16 saves, robbing Jason Clough with 1:31 to go on a point blank shot in front of the cage.
Nearing the end of the first overtime, John Shea put Oneonta down a man when he was flagged for a 1-minute unnecessary roughness call.
A Clark shot went wide of the target 18 seconds into double overtime and less than 20 seconds later, Alec Solomito sent a lengthy pass down the left side to a wide open DeLuca at the restraining line. DeLuca carried the ball in uncontested and was able to slip a shot past Wenger for the win.
Elizabethtown played a solid possession game. It was successful on 23-of-24 clearing attempts and committed eight less turnovers than SUNY Oneonta. The Jays also held a 47-34 shot advantage.
Clark’s six goals were the most in a game by a Blue Jay in almost seven years. Ryan McCafferty was the last E-town player to score six or more in a game when he had seven against Immaculata on March 8, 2008. Clark’s single-game goal total is tied for fourth in program history, and with two assists, his eight points are tied for fifth most.
For much of the afternoon, E-town’s defense kept the Oneonta offense in check. Matt Frey led the Blue Jays’ backline with three caused turnovers and six ground balls.
Wenger stopped 13 shots, a season after stopping a career-high 19 against Oneonta.
The Red Dragons received two goals from DeLuca, Metzger and Dan King. Neubert, Coyle, Wesley Banks and Charles Montgomery added goals for the visitors.
Elizabethtown returns to the field next Saturday when it takes on Messiah in Grantham. Face-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.