In what can be described as one of the greatest comebacks in NCBS history, the Armory rallied to knock off the defending champion Rivermen, 12-11, in thrilling fashion Thursday night.
The Armory won the physical showdown on Camden Hay’s leaping shorthanded goal with eight seconds to play. The Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League champs rallied after falling behind 8-1 in the first half.
“It feels great for sure,” said Armory captain Luke Pilcher. “We were a little bit nervous, but we have a great team, and we had faith in ourselves. We battled and believed in each other. We got the job done.”
The game started according to plan for the defending National Collegiate Box Series champs, as the Rivermen jumped on the Armory early. Jackson Reid and Jack Hannah were the catalysts on offense. Reid, who finished with five goals, netted three in the first half. Hannah had a first-half hat trick as well, as the Rivermen blitzed the Armory in the first 24 minutes of the game.
WATCH: CAMDEN HAY’S HIGHLIGHT REEL GAME-WINNER WITH EIGHT SECONDS TO SPARE
The Armory were down 8-1 at halftime
They won 12-11.
One of the WILDEST games I have ever seen pic.twitter.com/laUINu02mN
— Charlie Ragusa ©® (@chucknchuck) August 6, 2021
But things can change quickly in the game of lacrosse and the Armory seized momentum early in the second half. After settling locker room speeches by Armory coaches Ron Cogan and Jordan Jarvis, the team got out of its funk, outscoring the Ohio champs 11-3 in the second half.
UCBLL leading scorer Luke Pilcher scored twice in a seven-goal third quarter. Hunter Lemieux also scored two of his three second-half markers in the third, while Joey Pezzimenti, Cam Germain and Casey McDermott also added tallies for the Armory.
Germain, who scored three goals during the regular season, notched his biggest tally of the year, converting in transition to cut the deficit to 8-4 in the third. The Armory kept rolling from there, outscoring the Rivermen 4-2 to close out the third to get within two at 10-8.
“I didn’t think it went in,” said St. Bonaventure product Cam Germain. “As we kept pushing goals as a team, our momentum and energy got that much greater. Finally, we were able to come back for the win.”
The fourth quarter was all Armory, as the kids from Upstate reeled off four goals in the final 12 minutes. Kaleb Benedict finally got the Armory even with seven minutes to play as he scooped up a long outlet pass and buried a low shot to tie the game on a breakaway goal, which set the stage for Hay.
While down a man in the final seconds, Lemieux drew two defenders and moved up the far boards before firing a pass to the front of the net. That’s when Hay grabbed the pass, leapt in the air, and buried the low shot for the game winner.
“We were shorthanded, there were eight seconds left, and there’s no risk in throwing that pass,” said Lemieux. “So why not throw it? For him to catch and finish on the crease was incredible for us.”