GENEVA, N.Y. - Alex Marotto (South Windsor, Conn.) scored two of his three goals in a 4-0 Bobcats run to start the third quarter as the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team erased a 4-3 halftime deficit to defeat Hobart, 9-7, Saturday afternoon at McCooey Field. The win, the Bobcats' fourth straight, gave Quinnipiac its first-ever ECAC victory (1-1) and pushed its overall record to 4-1. Kevin Benzing (Severna Park, Md.) was phenomenal in net for the Bobcats, making a career-high 21 saves on 28 chances to earn the victory. The loss sends Hobart to 2-3 (0-1 ECAC).
"Face-offs were our biggest fear coming into this game today," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Eric Fekete. "We knew that they had a great face-off game, especially against Binghamton. I think they were 15-for-16 and possessions are where its at. Goaltending-wise..quite frankly, I thought both goalies played a hell of a game today. Max (Silberlicht) made so many saves early in the game and really kept them in it. And Kevin (Benzing) came up huge in the second half. Other than being involved in the game, it was great to watch two goalies like that play. You don't get it very often when you have two good goalies like that. I was as impressed with Max as I was with Kevin."
Jack Oppenheimer (Conshohocken, Pa.) and Billy Alessi (Branford, Conn.) scored two goals each for the Bobcats, while Kevin Kelly (Redding, Conn.) and Garett Kerr (Caledon, Ontario) added a goal apiece. Alex DeAlmeida (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Mike Gast (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Christian Haggerty (West Nyack, N.Y.) and Todd Kaiser (Summit, N.J.) added an assist each for the Bobcats. Zach Pall (Setauket, N.J.), the nation's face-off percentage leader coming into the game, won 12-of-19 opportunities on the day, including eight-of-10 in the final two quarters. Pall also picked up a team-high seven ground balls.
Chris Pedersen led the Statesmen with four goals, while Sam Miller added two. Kevin Curtin added two assists for Hobart. Alex Caton rounded out the scoring for the Statemen, while Tim Bigelow also tallied an assist. Max Silberlicht (2-3) made 12 saves on 21 shots in net to take the loss for Hobart.
For the game, the Bobcats edged the Statesmen in ground balls, 34-32, while winning 12-of-20 face-offs. Hobart outshot Quinnipiac, 45-38, while also taking the edge in clears (15-17 to 14-23), extra-man opportunities (2-5 to 1-5), and turnovers (25-19). The Bobcats committed four penalties for 3:30, while the Statemen were whistled for six infractions, covering 4:00.
After Benzing made the initial save of a Hobart shot, Pedersen picked up the rebound on the doorstep and put it past Benzing to give Hobart the 1-0 lead at the 11:20 mark of the first quarter.
The Bobcats responded to tie the game at the 7:10 mark as Haggerty found Kelly 10 yards in front of the crease. Kelly went low to beat Silberlicht inside the right post.
Alessi made it 2-1 Bobcats with a goal at the 8:23 mark of the second quarter. Alessi slipped down the center of the field, sprung by a pass from Jay Binkowski (Bethany, Conn.) and shot from 15 yards out straight in front of the net into the top left corner.
Just 1:22 later, Pedersen added his second goal of the game on a man-up opportunity to tie the game at 2-2. Curtin passed from behind the net to the doorstep on the right post, where Pedersen went opposite to beat Benzing into the top left corner.
The Bobcats retook the lead with 2:09 left in the half, as DeAlmeida ran out from behind the net and found Oppenheimer close in front. Oppenheimer then slipped it past Silberlicht.
Just seconds later, Caton picked up the ground ball off the ensuing face-off and went straight to the net, beating Benzing to tie the game at 3-3. A minute later, Pedersen gave the Statesmen the 4-3 lead prior to the half, taking a cross-field pass from Curtin at the right post before slipping it past Benzing.
The Bobcats wasted little time tying the score in the second half, as Marotto found the back of the net just 36 seconds into the third quarter. Marotto dodged into the middle of the field, 15 yards in front before ripping it past Silberlicht.
Alessi found the back of the net for the second time, making a series of moves to get in close before shooting it past Silberlicht to give the Bobcats a 5-4 lead at the 7:08 mark of the third quarter.
The Bobcats extended their lead to 6-4 when Oppenheimer shot underneath the crossbar at the 6:17 mark of the third quarter for a man-up marker. Oppenheimer shot from 10 yards off the right post after taking a Gast pass from the top of the box.
At the 4:04 mark of the third, the Bobcats made it a 4-0 run to take a 7-4 lead as Marotto scored his second of the game off a Kaiser feed. Kaiser sent a short pass from atop the box just a bit closer to the net to Marotto, who ripped from 20 yards out to beat Silberlicht.
The Statesmen got on the board in the second half with a Sam Miller goal at the 12:34 mark of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 7-5. Miller did well to receive an errant Bigelow pass in front of the net, before slipping an off-balance shot past Benzing from close in front of the cage.
Kerr made it 8-5 at the 7:59 mark of the fourth, taking a pass at the top of the box, streaking to within 10 yards straight in front of the net before beat Silberlicht on a short hop over the goal line.
With 6:26 left, Benzing stopped a streaking Miller's initial shot off a turnover, but Miller picked up the rebound and got it past Benzing to make it an 8-6 game. The goal was scored on the man-up.
Pedersen scored his fourth goal of the game with 4:16 left in regulation, coming off a screen before unleashing the shot from straight away, 15 yards in front of the net to beat Benzing and make it a one-goal game, 8-7.
A one-man offense, Marotto scored his third goal of the game at the 3:03 mark of the fourth quarter as the Bobcats reestablished the two-goal lead. Marotto ran all the way up field on the clear by himself, before running from right-to-left behind the cage. Looking as though the Bobcats might stall with the one-goal lead and time ticking away, Marotto surprised Silberlicht with a low shot from the left post to give the Bobcats an insurance goal and a 9-7 lead.
The Bobcats return to ECAC Lacrosse action next Saturday, when they play host to Ohio State. Opening face-off from the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field is scheduled for noon.