Bears Pull Off Massive Upset, Top No. 2/1 Cardinals in Overtime

Anthony Wyler
Anthony Wyler

NEW LONDON, Conn. -  Junior Anthony Wyler scored with 32 seconds left in the first overtime as the Coast Guard men's lacrosse team upset No. 2/1 Wesleyan for the Bears first win over a top five opponent in program history.

With the win, Coast Guard improves to 3-0 on the season while the Cardinals fall to 1-1.

Wesleyan, currently ranked second in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and first in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division III men's lacrosse poll, returned the majority of their squad from last season that rattled off a school record twenty wins and made it to the NCAA Division III National Semi Final. Coast Guard becomes on the second team in Wesleyan's last three games to top the Cardinals and is their first regular season lost since March fifth of last year.

Wyler finished the game with four points on three goals and one assist while sophomore Riley McNulty finished with a game high five points on four goals and one assist. Freshman Matty Johnson netted two points including the game winning assist.

The Cardinals were led by senior Taylor Ghesquiere and junior Christian Barker who both had four points on three goals and one assist. Freshman Ronan Jacoby had a goal and two assists while junior Carter Hawthorne finished with three points on a goal and two assists.

Wesleyan opened the game scoring the first three goals capped off by Hawthorne finish with 3:20 left to play in the first quarter. Hawthorne had two points over this stretch with a goal and an assist.

The Bears answered with a goal from McNulty late in the first followed by a man-up goal just under a minute into the second quarter. Wyler tied the game at three with 13:22 on the clock.

The Cardinals would counter once again with three more goals of their own in under two minutes. Both Ghesquiere and Barker had a goal and an assist over this run pushing their lead back to three (6-3).

Coast Guard answered right back with three more goals of their own tying the game after junior Connor Ellis fired a shot home on the Cardinals doorstep making the score 6-6 as both teams headed into the locker room.

After Wesleyan moved ahead by one goal in the third quarter the Bears would take their first lead of the game with 5:24 left in regulation as McNulty scored on a pass from junior Jack Pope making the score 9-8. The Cardinals however took advantage of a late penalty by Coast Guard and found the equalizer with just over a minute left to play pushing the game to overtime.

Both teams had offensive opportunities before Johnson found Wyler who slipped past one defender and fire a bounce shot home giving the Bears their biggest win in their short history.

Junior Trey Johnson (3-0) had a career game stopping 11 shots including six in the second half for his 21st career win. Before tonight's game, Johnson sat in fifth in Division III in goals against average and leads the NEWMAC in the category as well (5.36).

Wesleyan held an advantage in nearly every statistical category but turned the ball over 21 times. Coast Guard's defense caused nine of the turnovers led by two from sophomore Ryan Gochar and junior Mike McCaslin.

Coast Guard is back in action on Saturday, March 10th when they kick off their spring break trip with a game against Goucher. Opening face off is 1:00 pm.