Bazzell gives Tornados a 5-4 overtime victory as Brevard clinches a playoff berth

Box Score

BREVARD, N.C. – Alex Bazzell sent the Brevard College men’s lacrosse team to a 5-4 overtime victory against Lincoln Memorial University on Saturday afternoon during South Atlantic Conference (SAC) play. The Tornados improve to 8-6 overall and 3-4 in the conference while the Railsplitters fall to 3-10 and 0-8.

With the win, Brevard extended its winning streak to four games while also locking up a playoff berth in the SAC Tournament as a second year program.

After Lincoln Memorial had two shots get blocked and saved by the keeper, the Tornados got the ball in the offensive zone before calling a timeout. Bazzell then had control of the ball coming out of the timeout and sped past his defender before ripping a shot past the keeper for the game-winner.

In regulation, both teams had their chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter but both goalkeepers held strong for their respective teams. A key turning point for Brevard was when Andy Reilly stopped a point blank shot with 6:23 remaining to keep the game at a tie. He then stopped Lincoln Memorials final shot with just two seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Anthony Alfonso led the Tornados with two goals while Matthew Dropuljic and Sam Postma each had one. Bazzell had the most important goal of the game while Adam Wiedemann had an assist. Reilly had 14 saves in net.

Justin Stewart had two goals to lead Lincoln Memorial while Justin Ruffin and Adam Golia each had a tally. Dylan Neisler dished out an assist while Joe Medel had 19 saves in net, including eight in the first quarter and five in the fourth.

Stewart began the scoring with 3:32 gone in the first period before Alfonso and Postma answered for the Tornados and gave the hosts a 2-1 lead with 7:33 left in the first frame. Ruffin answered just under three minutes later to tie the game before Alfonso scored his second goal of the contest to retake the lead for Brevard.

After both teams played solid defense for a majority of the second quarter and Brevard was looking to go into the half with a one goal advantage, Stewart picked up his second goal of the game with 1:14 remaining in the half to tie the game.

Dropuljic helped his team retake the lead with a little over five minutes gone in the third period. However, with a little under four minutes to play the period, the Tornados took a delay of game penalty and went a man down. Lincoln Memorial took advantage of the extra-man opportunity and Golia tied the game at four with nine seconds left in the penalty.

The game went scoreless in the fourth quarter before Bazzell’s heroics in overtime.

The Tornados had a 37-29 advantage in shots, including 12-5 in the first period and 11-5 in the fourth. Lincoln Memorial had an 11-4 edge in the second period. Brevard only committed 18 turnovers to the Railsplitters 24.
Each team was successful on all but one clear attempt with the visitors having 26 attempts and the hosts having 21. Brevard won six face-offs to Lincoln Memorials seven.

The Tornados wrap up the regular season next Saturday against Coker for senior day. The game is set to begin at noon.

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