RICHMOND, Va. – Mitch Goldberg found the back of the net with 31 seconds remaining in regulation to lift Richmond to a 9-8 victory over the Bucknell men's lacrosse team in a back-and-forth first meeting Saturday at Robins Stadium.
After the Bison (2-1, 0-0 Patriot League) used a 3-0 run to turn a 6-4 deficit into a 7-6 advantage in the third quarter, the Spiders (1-1, 0-0 CAA) responded with two unanswered goals to regain their edge. With 5:27 left to play, Sean O'Brien took a feed from Will Sands and beat Blake Goodman to even the score, setting up a frenetic final five minutes of action.
Following O'Brien's equalizer, Jarett Witzal won the face-off to get Bucknell the ball right back. During that offensive possession, Goodman denied O'Brien and Sands, and Connor O'Hara rang a shot off the post. Sands's bid at the 2:20 mark proved to be the Bison's final shot in the contest; while Witzal won the face-off after Goldberg's go-ahead tally, Richmond forced a turnover with two seconds left to play to seal its victory.
At halftime, the teams were locked in a 4-4 tie. The Spiders scored the third quarter's first two goals to build their largest lead of the contest only to have the Bison come roaring back behind O'Hara, Tom Smith and O'Brien goals. Smith and O'Brien's tallies came less than a minute apart, at 3:11 and 2:30 of the third quarter respectively.
Both goalies reached the double digits in saves. Goodman ultimately outdueled Christian Klipstein, finishing with 17 saves to the Bison junior's 13. Bucknell and Richmond each took 36 shots in what proved to be a fast-paced, physical contest.
Sands (2g-2a), O'Brien (2g) and Reed Malas (1g-1a) enjoyed multi-point outings for the Bison. Teddy Hatfield (4g), Ryan Lancbury (3g) and Goldberg (2g) accounted for all of the Spiders' goals.
Matt Gilray led Bucknell with four ground balls while four other Bison collected at least three. Witzal went 12 for 20 on his face-off attempts during the contest, taking every single one for Bucknell for the second time in 2018.
Sands now needs one assist to become the fifth Bison to record 100 in his career. He is three goals shy of cracking Bucknell's top 10.
The Bison next travel to Colgate for their first Patriot League contest on Saturday, Feb. 24. The opening face-off is set for 1 p.m.