LOUISVILLE, Ky. Alex Marotto (South Windsor, Conn.) scored the game-winning goal with 17 seconds remaining as the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team came from behind to defeat Bellarmine, 12-11, Saturday afternoon at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium. With the win, the Bobcats (4-8, 2-3 GWLL) clinched their second straight Great Western Lacrosse League Tournament berth. Fourth-seeded Quinnipiac will face GWLL Regular Season Champion Notre Dame (13-0, 5-0 GWLL) in the semifinals, to be played Friday afternoon at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich. The Knights concluded their season at 6-8 (0-5 GWLL).
Kevin Kelly (Redding, Conn.) scored a team-high four goals for the Bobcats, while Jack Oppenheimer (Conshohocken, Pa.) scored three. Marotto scored twice, while Ted Dimond (Marblehead, Mass.), Todd Kaiser (Summit, N.J.) and Matt Schairer (Wrentham, Mass.) added one goal each. Alex DeAlmeida (Pt. Pleasant, N.J.) and Marotto had two assists each, while Kevin Benzing (Severna Park, Md.), Mitch Cooper (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Kelly, Gary Messina (West Islip, N.Y.) and Oppenheimer added one each.
Sean Doyle had a game-high five goals for the Knights, while Ray Finnegan, Jr. added three. Chase Williams, Jarrett Davis and Craig Carson had one goal each. Derek Hopcroft and Karsen Leung had two assists apiece, while Davis, Williams and Drew Soeder added one each.
Benzing earned the win in net for the Bobcats, recording eight saves. David Haas took the loss, making six saves for Bellarmine.
Ben Mullaney (Norwalk, Conn.) won 17-of-25 face-offs for the Bobcats, and picked up a team-high six ground balls.
After an offside call wiped out a DeAlmeida goal at the 12:52 mark of the first quarter, Finnegan, Jr. put Bellarmine on top, 1-0, with a goal from close range at the 11:54 mark.
Quinnipiac evened the score at 1-1 as Kelly took a Marotto pass at the 7:36 mark of the first and deposited in the back of the net from 10 yards directly in front of the net.
Less than a minute later, Bellarmine recaptured a one-goal lead as Doyle scored off a Hopcroft assist. Quinnipiac answered at the 5:16 mark, when Oppenheimer scored unassisted. Oppenheimer wrapped behind the net before slipping it inside the left post.
As quickly as the Bobcats tied the score, Bellarmine jumped out to a two-goal lead faster. After the Knights won the ensuing face-off, Carson scored to give Bellarmine a 3-2 lead. Less than 20 seconds later, Doyle scored his second goal of the game off a Leung helper.
The Bellarmine lead stretched to 5-2 as Finnegan, Jr. scored his second goal of the game at the 13:25 mark of the second quarter. Finnegan, Jr. took an Acton pass just a few feet in front of the left post and easily deposited it past Benzing.
Just over a minute later, the Bobcats ended the 3-0 Knights run as DeAlmeida found Kelly in transition and the sophomore ripped a shot past Haas.
After an eight-minute scoring drought from both teams, Schairer scored his first career goal off a Cooper assist to draw the Bobcats back to within one goal at 5-4. But less than a minute later, Chase Williams scored on the man advantage off a Hopcroft assist to give the Knights a 6-4 advantage. The score remained 6-4 heading into halftime.
Bellarmine extended to a 7-4 lead as Doyle scored his third goal of the game, unassisted at the 13:46 mark of the third quarter. Doyle powered past the Quinnipiac defender and went low to sneak it past Benzing.
Kelly scored his third goal of the game with 6:45 left in the third to cut the deficit to two goals at 7-5. Benzing intercepted a pass in the crease and passed it to Kelly at midfield. Kelly went directly to the net and put it past Haas.
Just less than two minutes later, Oppenheimer scored off a Kelly assist to cut the Knights' lead to one. Oppenheimer streaked to the middle of the zone, where Kelly found him, before immediately ripping a shot past Haas with 4:51 remaining in the third quarter.
With 2:10 remaining in the third, Bellarmine regained a two-goal cushion as Doyle scored for the fourth time. Davis intercepted a lazy Quinnipiac pass in the Bobcats' zone and took it the length of the field before finding Doyle, who ripped a shot past Benzing.
But just 11 seconds later, the Bobcats got the goal back as Mullaney won the face-off and passed to Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer then found Marotto, who streaked to the cage before slipping it past Haas for the goal.
Bellarmine opened the fourth-quarter scoring on Doyle's fifth goal of the game. Following the long rebound of a Quinnipiac shot, the Knights moved quickly in transition. The Knights beat the Bobcats back downfield before Leung fed Doyle for a shot from 15 yards directly in front of the net, which beat Benzing.
Quinnipiac again made it a one-goal game, as the Bobcats scored in transition at the 10:35 mark of the fourth quarter. After a Bellarmine turnover, Marotto took the ball across midfield and found Dimond at the left post for the easy score.
Quinnipiac again scored in transition to tie the game at 9-9 with 9:51 left in regulation. Kelly ended up with the ball 10 yards from the cage on the left side and ripped a shot high past Haas for his fourth goal of the game.
The Bobcats took their first lead of the game when Kaiser was the recipient of a DeAlmeida feed from behind the net. All alone in front, Kaiser easily put it past Haas with 6:58 remaining in regulation.
Finnegan, Jr. scored his third goal of the game at the 4:39 mark to tie the game at 10-10. With a scrum for the ball formed to the right of the net, the ball squirted out to Finnegan, Jr., all alone five yards in front, before he put it past Benzing.
The Knights went on top, 11-10, on a Davis goal from 15 yards directly in front of the net with 2:19 left in regulation. Williams assisted on the goal.
Following a pair of Bellarmine penalties, Oppenheimer tied the game on a man-up opportunity with 49 seconds left. Oppenheimer took a Messina pass 15 yards out on the right side and ripped a shot past Haas.
With 17 seconds left, a double-teamed Marotto slipped past two Bellarmine defenders and whipped a shot past Haas while falling down for the game-winner.