Playing on the road against a team that had won 15 straight games and playing with a history that included no playoff wins, it appeared things were headed in a downhill direction for the HIES boys lacrosse team Tuesday.
Appearances can be deceiving, however, as the Golden Bears knocked off Wesleyan 10-9 in overtime and will advance to face Milton Saturday at Milton at 7:30 p.m. in state lacrosse.
“We surprised them,” Coach Mike Thornton said. “They weren’t prepared for the intensity we have learned to play with due to the Walton, Lovett and Westminster games.
“Looking ahead, Milton has a lot of talented players, but we can play with anyone when we play our kind of blue-collar lacrosse.”
HIES led 8-4, then trailed 9-8 late before tying the score at the end of regulation. Price Barnett won the crucial face-off to start OT; he kicked it to Darius Bowling who fed Joe Byrd for the deciding goal.
Byrd led with three scores on the day. Barnett won 17 of 20 face-off attempts.
Other scorers included Andy Watts with two, Connor Randall had a goal and an assist despite re-injuring his leg early in the contest, Robert Margeson scored two goals and picked up an assist, Chase Brown scored once and Will Byrd had two assists.
Two defensemen had big days – Jordan Miller scored a goal and had an assist and Bowling had the huge assist in overtime.