NEWBERRY, S.C. --- Keegan Bell scored with 2:56 left in the second overtime period as Tusculum rallied from seven goals down in the second half and a two-goal deficit in the final minute to defeat Newberry 12-11 in South Atlantic Conference men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Setzler Field.
Bell, Liam Macdonald and Nate Wade each finished with three goals and an assist for the Pioneers (4-5, 2-2 SAC), who trailed 8-1 at halftime but scored eight unanswered goals to take a 9-8 lead with 10:10 to go. The Wolves (4-7, 0-4 SAC) rebounded to score three goals in just over two minutes to take an 11-9 lead with exactly two minutes remaining, but Wade and Tyler Klarner scored in the final minute to force overtime.
Newberry had all four shots in the first overtime period, but none were on net as the teams went to a second extra period. Tusculum won the faceoff to start the second overtime and controlled the ball until Bell fired home the winning goal just over a minute into the second extra period.
With the win, Tusculum leveled its all-time record in overtime to 4-4 and improved to 2-1 in double-overtime games. The match was the longest in the program's five-year history, lasting one second longer than a 10-9 loss in two overtimes at Walsh on March 8, 2016.
Jeremy Ross scored four goals and two assists to lead the Wolves, who appeared poised to win their first-ever SAC match before the Pioneers' second-half comeback. Belton Bryan added three goals and an assist and Dylan Mansur had two goals and an assist for Newberry, which was outshot 46-33 by Tusculum and committed 22 turnovers to 10 by the Pioneers.
Newberry was outshot 10-7 by Tusculum in the first quarter, but scored all four goals in the period. Bryan opened the scoring with 9:15 left in the quarter, then Ross scored three straight goals over a span of 3 minutes, 17 seconds to extend the Newberry lead to 4-0.
Tusculum got on the board on a goal by Wade with 13:38 left in the second quarter, only to see Ross answer 48 seconds later for a 5-1 Newberry lead. Mansur scored the next two goals for the Wolves, with a goal from Bryan with 35 seconds left sending Newberry to the locker room with an 8-1 lead.
The Pioneers still trailed 8-1 with under 10 minutes left in the third quarter before Macdonald and Bell scored 11 seconds apart. Chris Ryan connected for a man-up goal with 4:35 left in the quarter, followed by two goals from Macdonald within the next two minutes as the Pioneers trailed 8-6 heading to the fourth quarter.
Klarner scored 44 seconds into the fourth quarter to bring the Pioneers within one goal, and Bell completed the first comeback by scoring the equalizer with 11:26 remaining. Wade gave Tusculum its first lead of the afternoon with 10:10 left, and the Pioneers held the lead for the next six minutes before Kobie Jordan tied it at 9-9 with 4:10 to play.
Belton put Newberry back ahead 10-9 with 3:18 left, and Daytin Vidovich scored what appeared to be an insurance goal with exactly 2:00 remaining. Newberry then won the ensuing faceoff and looked to run out the clock, but turned the ball over and Wade cut the lead to 11-10 with 57 seconds to go.
The Pioneers regained possession off the next faceoff, but a shot was saved by the Wolves' Erick Szurley and Newberry came up with the ball. However, Macdonald forced a turnover and Tusculum regained possession with 36 seconds to play, setting up Klarner for the tying goal with 21 seconds on the clock.
Newberry possessed the ball for most of the first overtime period, taking three shots in the final 70 seconds but misfiring on all three attempts. The Pioneers then took possession off the faceoff to start the second overtime, and Bell worked the defense one-on-one before rifling home the winning goal.
Ethan Bohannon and Eric Varlas shared the team lead with five ground balls apiece for the Pioneers, while Quinn McKitrick had three caused turnovers and a pair of ground balls. Klarner also added three ground balls as the Pioneers won the category by a 26-18 margin over the Wolves.
Newberry faceoff man Jacob Katopol had a game-high six ground balls on the strength of winning 16 of 28 faceoffs in the match. Andrew Briones finished with five ground balls and had a pair of caused turnovers for the Wolves.
Will Bender came on in goal in the second half for the Pioneers and allowed three goals in the final 37 minutes, making five saves. Patrick Thomas started for Tusculum and finished with one save. Szurley played the entire match in goal for Newberry and tallied 12 saves in the contest.
Tusculum will host Coker Saturday at 3 p.m. at Pioneer Field.