(Carlisle, Pa.) – March Madness isn't just for basketball anymore. The #3-ranked Dickinson men's lacrosse team held off visiting Colorado College in a thriller on Friday night, 11-10. Nick Leon (Chevy Chase, Md./Gonzaga) found the back of the net with the game-winner, scoring off an assist from Matt Cherry (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Radnor) with just 40 seconds remaining to give the Devils the win.
Cherry dished out four assists on the night, becoming the program's all-time career assist leader with 82. He overtakes Peter Paul Hanley '68 and Chris Dodson '10, who were tied with the previous mark of 80. The Red Devils improved to 7-0 on the season, giving the seniors another school record for most wins by a class. The Red Devil seniors improved to 54-9 over the past four seasons.
Dickinson jumped out to an early lead, but the Tigers woke up in the third quarter and mounted a furious rally, outscoring the Devils, 5-0, to eventually pull even, late in the period.
The Devils opened the game with a quick strike as junior Brian Gleason (Darien, Conn./Darien) fed classmate Brian Cannon (Reisterstown, Md./Loyola Blakefield), just 48 seconds into the game. Dickinson capitalized on a Colorado penalty when Collin Farrell (Newtown Square, Pa./Malvern) finished Cherry's first helper of the evening at the 12:06 mark.
Steve Rijo put Colorado on the board at the 10:02 mark but the Devils answered with back-to-back goals, just seven seconds apart. Christian Beitel (Newtown, Conn./Newtown) scored and Cannon fed Will Scott (Emmaus, Pa./Emmaus) off the ensuing face-off.
Jack Kreitler slipped past the defense to make the score, 4-2, at the end of the first quarter. Cannon started things off in the second as well, scoring and feeding senior Marek Laco (Potomac, Md./Landon) with a beautiful pass across the mouth of the goal.
Leon and Cherry connected twice more in the first half, sandwiching a pair of goals around a Colorado score from Tyler Allen. The second would be the record-setter for Cherry, handing out the 81st assist of his career, to put the Devils up, 8-3, at halftime.
The Tigers would come storming back in the third quarter. They capitalized on a pair of Dickinson penalties to start the run, netting two extra-man goals to cut the margin to 8-5, with 4:55 to play in the quarter. Will Harris won a face-off and went straight to goal, pulling the Tigers closer at the 4:48 mark.
Colorado finished out the period with goals from Taylor Paul and Jack Kreitler to reset the game, 8-8, with 1:30 to play.
Sophomore Tyler White (Philadelphia, Pa./Penn Charter) wasted little time putting Dickinson back on top, scoring just 45 seconds into the fourth quarter. The Devils looked as though they were heating up once again, scoring off the next face-off. Senior Brandon Palladino (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) picked-up the ground ball and found Parker Waldron (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) at the 14:01 mark to give Dickinson a 10-8 advantage.
Colorado wasn't quite through yet, pulling within one at the 7:35 mark. Allen converted an assist from Kreitler to keep the Tigers in the game. They would take advantage of another penalty to knot the game at 10-10, as Rijo scored off an assist from Henri Halle.
The Devils claimed the next face-off but a wide shot and a heads-up play by Tiger goalkeeper Chase Murphy, gave the ball to Colorado. The Devil defense rose to the occasion as Palladino forced a turnover into the stick of Peter Zouck (Baltimore, Md./Gilman) and the Red Devils were able to clear.
The Red Devils called a timeout to set up the attack, but in the end went back to staple of the night as Cherry found Leon again for the game-winner in the final seconds. Waldron possessed the ground ball as Carter Moore (Virginia Beach, Va./Norfolk Academy) won his 17th face-off of the night.
Following another timeout the Devils were able to run out the clock and secure the win to remain unbeaten on the season.
Cherry finished with four assists while Cannon tallied two goals and a pair of assists. Leon finished three of Cherry's assists for a hat-trick.
Palladino was a menace in the midfield, causing seven turnovers and controlling seven ground balls to give with his assist. Zouck finished with six GBs and three caused turnovers while Draper Donley (Lutherville, Md./St. Paul's) also forced three turnovers and controlled a pair of ground balls.
Moore went 17-for-21 on face-offs and collected a game-high eight ground balls. Senior goaltender Greg Hanley (Laurel Hollow, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) made seven saves in the nets for Dickinson.
Chase Murphy made 16 saves on the night for Colorado as they slip to 5-3. The Tigers played a solid game against Salisbury on Wednesday as well, falling 9-4.
The #3-ranked Red Devils improved to 7-0 on the year. They open Centennial Conference play on Wednesday, traveling to McDaniel College for a 7:00 pm face-off.