Denison junior Eddie Vita scored one minute and eight seconds into the third overtime, propelling the 11th-ranked Big Red to a 10-9 victory over Haverford on Saturday afternoon from Swan Field in Haverford, Pa.
Tied at 8-8, the Fords' Geoff Geppert scored his fifth goal of the season with 1:58 left in regulation. Exactly 50 seconds later, freshman Blair Farinholt took a pass from classmate Justin DeMarchi and fired a shot past Eric Caliendo to tie the contest at 9-9.
In the first four-minute overtime period, Denison outshot Haverford 5-1, including a 3-1 edge in shots on cage. The momentum flipped in the second OT session with the Fords attempting all three shots during the four-minute span. With 1:37 to go, DU goalie Chris Thomas corralled a shot by Geppert. However, Haverford regained possession when Tommy Harrison was called for a slash. During the EMO, Geppert had another chance to end the game, but hit the crossbar. Thomas scooped up the ground ball, leading to a successful clear attempt for the Big Red.
Chip Phillips won the opening faceoff of the third overtime to give Denison the first possession of the period. With just over a minute gone, Farinholt fed a pass to Vita who was streaking towards the cage. Vita took the pass, did a double pump fake and fired a downward shot over Caliendo for the game-winning score.
Denison held a 2-1 lead after the first 15 minutes thanks to an unassisted goal by Chapin Speidel and a Teddy Powell score off an assist from Nick Verklin. Roughly three minutes into the second quarter, the Fords' Jack Bodine tied the game at 2-2.
At 4:04 in the second, DU kicked off a string of four-straight goals to take a 6-2 advantage. Matt Neeson opened the run with a score, while Speidel added a man-up goal with 18 seconds left in the half. Eleven seconds into the third period, Vita logged another man-up tally off an assist from Powell. Just 48 seconds later, Ben Hearn scored an unassisted man-down score to build the four-goal advantage.
The Haverford offense took over the rest of the third quarter, rattling off four-consecutive goals to knot the game at 6-6. Christian Clay provided a man-up goal and the game-tying tally, while Geppert and Dan LoSardo also scored during the run. The Fords took their first lead of the afternoon when Will Weissberg found LoSardo at 12:47 of the fourth quarter.
With 9:09 to play, Speidel tied the contest with his ninth goal of the season off an assist from Powell. However, Clay regained the lead for Haveford just 38 seconds later. At the 6:44 mark, Vita found DeMarchi for his third goal of the season to knot the contest at 8-8.
Speidel paced the Big Red attack with three goals and an assist, while Vita and Powell each logged three points. Vita scored two goals and an assist, while Powell posted a goal and two helpers. DeMarchi and Farinholt also added a goal and an assist.
Harrison led the defense with six ground balls, while Austin Campbell scooped up five ground balls and forced three turnovers. Phillips was 7-for-14 at the X, while Thomas made 10 saves in 69 minutes between the pipes.
Denison outshot Haverford 38-29 and held a 47-33 advantage in ground balls. The Big Red converted on two of their three man-up chances, while Haverford scored on just 2-of-10 extra-man situations.
Clay paced the Fords with three goals and an assist, while Geppert scored twice and assisted on two goals. LoSardo chipped in two tallies, while Bodine had a goal and two helpers. Caliendo made 16 saves, while Scott Chanelli scooped up nine ground balls.
DU improves to 3-1 on the season, while Haverford falls to 1-3. Denison returns to action on Wednesday against St. Mary's (Md.) at 12 p.m. The two teams will square off at Johns Hopkins University.