LEXINGTON, Va. - Freshman midfielder Drew Nesmith (Montclair, N.J.) scored a career-high four goals and the Marist men's lacrosse team overcame a four goal deficit in the third quarter to come back and defeat the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) 15-11 Saturday afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game.
Jack Doherty (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Colin Joka (Conshohocken, Pa.) both registered hat tricks for Marist. It was Joka's first career hat trick and the fourth three-goal performance of the season for Doherty. Connor Rice (Penfield, N.Y.) had two goals and three assists to join Nesmith, who also had an assist, with five-point efforts. Aedan Herman (Stafford, Va.) also had a mult-point game with a goal and two assists. Zach Badalucco (Brewster, N.Y.) led the Red Foxes defense with six ground balls and two caused turnovers, and also won eight face-offs which nearly tripled his career total, and Craig Goodermote (Holtsville, N.Y.) made five saves and scooped up three ground balls in the Marist goal. The Red Foxes were a perfect 4-4 on man-up opportunites, bringing their season average to 53%.
The offense started slow for the Red Foxes (4-3, 2-1 MAAC) as five of the first six goals were scored by VMI (1-9, 0-3 MAAC), including two in a four-second span, an apparent NCAA record, en route to a 5-2 deficit after the first quarter.
After trailing 7-4 at halftime and giving up a goal less than a minute into the third quarter, the Red Foxes began their comeback, scoring seven of the next eight goals.
Herman got things started with a man-up goal, one of three Marist goals in four extra-man opportunities, off an assist from Doherty with 11:48 left in the quarter.
Brett Bernardo (Clifton Park, N.Y.) scored the next goal on a feed from Mike Begley. Rice then dished off to Joka just 80 seconds later to cut the VMI lead to 8-7.
Following a Keydets' score, Doherty, Joka and Nesmith all tallied unassisted goals in a two and a half minute span to give Marist their first lead of the afternoon at 10-9 with 3:01 left in the third quarter.
Evan Guarini (Long Valley, N.J.) finished the seven-goal third period with a score on an assist from Herman with 50 seconds left to leave the Red Foxes ahead 11-9 going into the final stanza.
VMI quickly knotted the score with two goals in the first minute of the fourth quarter, but the Red Foxes' defense clamped down from there, holding the Keydets scoreless the rest of the way as the offense scored the final four goals.
Nesmith started the final rally on an unassisted man-up goal with 9:52 left to play. Rice scored just 45 seconds later on an assist from Mike O'Hagan (Yonkers, N.Y).
Five minutes later, Rice found Joka five minutes later to complete the freshman's hat trick. Nesmith completed the scoring with another unassisted score with 1:22 on the clock.
The Red Foxes return home for a midweek conference game Tuesday night at 7 p.m. versus Lafayette. They will then go back on the road for a non-conference matchup at perennial power, and 2010 national champion Duke.
Notes - O'Hagan, a junior midfielder, was given the honor of wearing #34 for Saturday's game in honor of former Red Fox Eddie Coombs, who died last summer in an automobile accident. Each game, a Marist player will wear the jersey based on who the coaches think earned it in practice and the previous game.