I kept glancing up at the big scoreboards at Michie Stadium on Saturday, watching the clock dwindle away and reminding myself: this is lacrosse. A lot can happen in three minute.
Or, in like, 60 seconds.
Trailing by two goals with a few minutes left, Army called a timeout and, like any good military unit, reorganized and made a plan. The cadets rallied to tie the game with about a minute to go before claiming a dramatic 11-10 victory less than 40 seconds into overtime on Saturday at Michie Stadium in West Point.
I had this lacrosse game penciled into the calendar for a while, and after watching the weather forecast for a week, I knew it would be a beauty. I got to post a little late, and then hunted for a parking spot (F Lot, nice fun walk back with 30 lbs of camera gear), but when I finally got to the field at Michie, it was all good. The Black Knights drew a respectable crowd and debuted their new white jerseys in a game against Colgate at the United States Military Academy, storming the field 38 seconds into overtime after Tyler Oates scored the game-winner. Garrett Thul (above) tied the game with just over a minute remaining after the cadets let the game slip away in the fourth quarter.
And even before the final minutes, this game stood up on it’s own in terms of excitement and back-and-forth goal scoring. Army looked beaten in the fourth, letting their deficit balloon to a pair of goals as the clock ticked away. A late 1-minute penalty further muddied the situation, but after a timeout and some planning, Army struck back when Thul, a freshman, whipped a shot through a crowd to knot the game at 10-10 with 1:51 remaining.
How I ended up nailing the shot of that goal, I’m not sure. Above is the exact moment he scored it.
With momentum securely on Army’s side, the game went into overtime, where Oates struck less than a minute in, setting off a huge celebration at midfield. Colgate was hit with a holding penalty with 1.9 seconds showing on the clock and was forced to start the overtime period man-down. Oates’ game-winner came just as the Raider penalty was expiring.
Granted, this wasn’t Army shocking Vanderbilt in football (another overtime thriller at Michie last October), but it was a great game under sunny, blue skies.
“[Jeremy] Boltus fed me a good ball and there was a good seam to shoot through,” said Oates of the overtime game-winner. “We had been shooting high earlier, so I went low-to-low and it stunned them. Every time we go to overtime, it always feels like, ‘here we go again.’ Today, the bench was really positive and we had a feeling we were going to pull it out today. And we did.”
As I mentioned, a nice crowd was on hand to see this game, partly because Colgate had a big following as well. It made for nice backgrounds in my photos, if I shot from a certain area (70 percent of the stadium is closed to fans, so really, you can make the place seem as full, or empty, as you’d like):
USMA has a detailed account of this game, with more quotes, and one of my photos, so take a look! I owe ya’ll some Army baseball photos from last week as well, so consider that my next task.