The Hawkeyes used a late three-goal run to knock off the Grays 9-6 Thursday night to notch their first ever win at the National Collegiate Box Series (NCBS) National Championships.
“It feels great to get the first win,” said Hawkeyes forward Zachary Terry. “Just having bounces go your way at the end of the game was the product of hard work.”
Terry powered the offense with five goals and one assist, as he willed his team to victory with back-to-back tallies in the fourth quarter to break open a 6-5 game. His two goals in a three-minute span ended a 3-0 Grays’ run which had pulled the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Box Lacrosse League champions within one.
Both goals came off deflections, with Terry burying goals from just outside the crease. Nicholas Miller assisted on both tallies as the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League’s leading scorer ended the night with two goals and three assists.
Miller sparked a three-goal fourth quarter for the Hawkeyes by burying a midfield pass from Conner Fingar to make it 7-5. Fingar connected with his teammates while falling to the floor to help turn the tide of the game.
“That was just our ‘D’ guy getting off the floor fast and Nick getting on the floor fast,” said Fingar. “I was lucky to turn around and see him calling for the ball. He made a good finish.”
Fingar also scored a goal as the transition man opened the game with a goal just 2:09 into the contest. The marker was the first of four for the UCBLL champs, as Miller, Colin Blakeslee, and Terry also collected goals. With John Jacobs making 16 of his 26 saves in the first half, the Hawkeyes led 5-1 at halftime.
However, the Grays, also making their NCBS debut, rebounded in the second half as they notched three third-quarter goals and one in the fourth to cut the deficit to 6-5. Jacob Angelus (2+1) scored two of those goals, including converting a long-range shot on the power-play at 1:37 of the fourth. Dalton Young also contributed to the Grays’ comeback bid with one goal and one assist.
But the Hawkeyes would not be denied as they pulled away in the final frame to earn their first win of the NCBS.
“It’s big for us to start 1-0,” said Miller. “We battled hard, and we came out with a big ‘W.’”
On Friday, the Hawkeyes will face off against the Connecticut champs (Revolution) at 3:30 p.m. (EST) and then the defending champions from California, the Royals, at 9:30 p.m. All the games will be live streamed on NCBS.tv.