March 10, 2012

No. 11 Union Survives Outing Against Babson

from press release

-- Sophomore Greg Mooney scored the game-winning goal with 30 seconds left in regulation to lift the visiting No. 11 Union College Dutchmen to a 6-5 comeback win over host Babson College in a thrilling non-conference men's lacrosse contest at Babson's MacDowell Field on a blustery Saturday afternoon.

With the win, Union, ranked 11th in the nation in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll, improved to 2-1 on the season. The Beavers, who were seeking their second win over a nationally-ranked opponent already this season, fell to 3-1 with their first loss of the year.

Six different players scored goals in the win for Union, with sophomore Rob Santangelo netting one to go with three assists and seven groundballs. Senior Ethan Meyer also had multiple points with one goal and one helper, and senior Matt Livingston tacked on five groundballs on defense. Senior goalie Sean Aaron was outstanding in net for the Dutchmen, finishing with 14 saves.

Babson was paced by senior Tom Mallon, who led all players with two goals, and junior captain Alex Patinkin, who added one goal and one assist. Senior captain Cam Caruso (St. Charles, Ill.) chipped in with two assists, sophomore Ryan Dawidjan (Worcester, Mass.) contributed two caused turnovers and a team-high seven groundballs, and junior Ben Jette added three CTs and three groundballs. Like his counterpart, junior goalie James Whalen played brilliantly in net for the Beavers, making a total of 14 saves.

Babson held a 1-0 lead after one quarter of play, thanks to Mallon's first goal of the day off a Patinkin feed a little less than three minutes in. The Beavers then scored the first two goals of the second quarter to make it a 3-0 contest – the first on an unassisted strike from 16 yards out by senior captain Jeff MacCune at 14:48 and the second when sophomore Brad Bero tucked a nifty back-handed shot into the lower left corner off a Caruso dish at 7:20.

Union finally got on the board with 4:55 left in the second quarter, when Santangelo fired an unassisted strike into the lower right corner. The Beavers then re-established their three-goal advantage when Caruso assisted Mallon on his second of the day at 3:20, but the Dutchmen cut it back to two when senior Ted McKenna came from behind the net and found the lower right corner to make it 4-2 with 1:12 remaining in the half.

After carrying the 4-2 lead into the break, Babson added another goal when Patinkin made a great spin move on the right side and ripped a shot past Aaron for a 5-2 advantage four minutes into the third quarter. The Beavers had threatened more damage prior to that goal, but Aaron made fantastic back-to-back saves on bids by Bero and senior Jamie Schmidt at the 12:45 mark.

Union began its comeback with six minutes to go in the third, as sophomore Nate Greenberg tallied the game's lone man-up goal off a pass from Santangelo to make it 5-3. Less than four minutes later, Santangelo picked up a groundball deep in the Babson zone and found fed Meyer, who fired a high shot past Whalen to make it a one-goal game with 2:23 remaining in the period.

The Beavers held onto the 5-4 lead until the final two minutes of the fourth, thanks in part to a tremendous low save by Whalen on a McKenna bid with 2:30 left in the game. The Dutchmen would finally tie the game moments later, however, as first-year Adam Rosenthal took a pass from Meyer and buried a shot from 12 yards out to even the score at 5-5 with 1:56 remaining.

Babson sophomore Aaron Rocha forced a turnover to give the Beavers the ball with 1:30 left to play, but the hosts immediately gave it back on a missed pass along the left sideline with 1:12 to go. Following a successful clear and a timeout, Union put the ball in the stick of Santangelo, who fed Mooney with a beautiful pass from behind the net. The sophomore middie was then able to launch a quick shot over Whalen's stick and just under the crossbar for the go-ahead score with exactly 30 seconds on the clock.

After first-year Phil Russo won the ensuing faceoff for Babson, the Dutchmen were flagged for an illegal body check that gave Babson a man-up opportunity with 14.5 seconds left in the game. However, the Beavers failed to get a shot off against the stingy Union defense as the visitors came away with the 6-5 come-from-behind victory.

The Dutchmen will travel to California for games vs. Kean in San Diego on March 20 and at Whittier on December 22.

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