NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The prospects of a second-straight GNAC win looked slim for the Johnson & Wales University men's lacrosse team as the Wildcats were down 10-2 in the second quarter at Norwich. The JWU defense came through in the second half and Ben Farrell found the back of the net in overtime to lift the Wildcats to the 14-13 victory on Saturday.
Norwich: 4-4, 1-1 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 3-7, 2-0 GNAC
Ian Kennedy scored with less than two minutes left in the opening half to stake the Cadets to a 10-2 lead. Senior Eric Russo gave the Wildcats some momentum going into the half, scoring a goal with just 32 seconds remaining. The West Grove, Pa., native scored twice in the third period, but the Wildcats still trailed 11-5 going into the fourth quarter.
Johnson & Wales got out to a fast start in the fourth quarter, scoring four times in the first four minutes. Norwich got two goals back, but the Wildcats finished regulation on a 4-0 run, including two goals from Brad Kretz, to force overtime.
In overtime, the Cadets won the opening faceoff – Norwich won 23 of 31 faceoffs – but sophomore goalkeeper Bradley Morris came up with a big save. Kretz's shot was blocked, but he recovered the ball and got it to Ben Farrell up top. Farrell ran to the right around a Norwich defender and fired a shot from 15 yards out past Norwich keeper Ian Kriger for the game-winner.
Russo topped all players with six goals and two assists. Farrell produced a trio of goals and assists. JWU had a 42-38 shot advantage. Morris made 11 saves in net.
The Wildcats are back at home on Wednesday to face Lasell at 7 p.m. It's the team's Big Game with a drawing for a free Bluetooth speaker at halftime.