The Sept. 14 afternoon matchup between the McGill men’s lacrosse team (2–0) and the Trent University Excalibur (2–1) was a thrilling early-season affair. McGill showed tremendous character and perseverance to beat Trent 8–7 in double overtime.
The action started quickly when fourth-year defenceman Connor Plante caught a sailing pass and ran half of the field to open scoring for McGill. The cheers were short-lived, however, as Trent evened the score in the fourth minute. Seconds later, the home crowd was on its feet again when second-year long-stick midfielder Ethan Forgrave converted a passing sequence into another goal for McGill.
The Trent defence tightened after the excitement of the game’s opening minutes. The rest of the first half favoured the away side as the Excalibur dominated possession, shots, and goals. McGill trailed 6–3 at half-time.
“We came out okay, but then they scored a lot of goals, and it was the first time this year where we had our backs against the wall,” Defensive Coach Nick Soubry said. “It took us a while for us not to overthink things.”
At the start of the second half, McGill made a substitution in the net, replacing first-year goalkeeper Steven Pelliccione with his older brother, third-year goalkeeper David Pelliccione, to tighten the McGill defence. Second-year midfielder Andrew Chase then eventually scored an impressive goal from a seemingly impossible angle, cutting Trent’s lead down to two. A minute later, third-year attackman Colton Campbell ran over multiple defenders to score with a cannon shot. However, Trent added to their advantage with under two minutes left in the third quarter to make it 7–5.
McGill started the fourth quarter aggressively with the Campbell-Chase connection making it a one-point margin once again. Chase then completed his hat-trick to level the score at 7–7, while Pelliccione successfully rebuffed Trent’s attack. But, with only two seconds left in the game, Trent scored what would have been the decisive point; however, the referees disallowed the goal due to a crease violation, and the game went to overtime.
“[David Pelliccione] made some really big saves, which gave the guys confidence,” Soubry said, commending the substitute goalie’s performance after the game. “When you get toward the end of the game, and the goalie makes a big stop, the team gets very hyped and energetic.”
In the first period of golden-goal overtime, Trent dominated the ball, but McGill’s defence did not budge. In the second period, Trent continued to attack, and McGill appeared to be in trouble. But, with a minute left, fourth-year defenceman Tanner Baldin intercepted the ball and darted across the field to score the game-winning goal.
McGill will square off with the Gee-Gees (0-1) in Ottawa on Sept. 21.
Moment of the Game:
In his defensive zone, fourth-year defencemen Tanner Baldin stretched out his stick to intercept a horizontal pass. He then sprinted to the opposite net to smash home the game-winner.
“We’re going to throw a party for the rookies tonight, and then get back to work on Monday.” – Third-year defender Roland Moellenberg on the team’s post-victory plans.
McGill and Trent have finished in the top two of the CUFLA’s Eastern Conference every year since 2016. McGill is now the only remaining undefeated team in the conference.