TIFFIN -- In heartbreaking fashion, the Heidelberg University men's lacrosse team was defeated in overtime at the hands of Hiram College on Wednesday night.
A back-and-forth affair all night led to dramatics in the final 1:08 of regulation to setup the overtime period. In the first four minutes of added time, Hiram (6-2) benefitted from a sudden-victory goal from Justin Dionne to knock off the host Student Princes (4-5).
Liam Weaver led all scorers with a double hat-trick (six goals). A fairly even attack supported the sophomore's offensive output on the night, including a pair of first career multi-goal efforts by Ryan Sinnema and Jacob White.
In what looked to be all Heidelberg early on, turned into a seesaw affair as both teams put together strong scoring runs throughout the 60 minutes of play.
The first half proved to be a tale of two quarters. The Student Princes dominated the first 15 minutes and took a 6-1 lead to the first intermission. A balanced offense of Liam Weaver (2), Ryan Sinnema, Patrick McCarthy Alex Bruder, and Brock Hodson led to the goals for Heidelberg.
In the second quarter, Hiram caught momentum and used a man-up goal and a man-down goal to their advantage as they swung the course of the game in their favor. A six-goal period for the Terriers led to their 7-6 lead at halftime.
The third quarter featured an even scoreline of 4-4 as Hiram managed to hold their slight lead. White and Weaver each buried two goals in the period for Heidelberg.
The fourth proved to be much like the fourth. This time, the Student Princes found themselves trailing by one with 1:08 remaining. Just after Hunter Edwards forced a turnover and picked up the ground ball, Heidelberg called a timeout. Straight out of the stoppage, Weaver beat his man and slotted a high shot to the back of the net to tie the game at 14.
After the faceoff, Barry Middleton won the battle that led to Sinnema's ground ball. The long-legged defender mauraded down the middle of the field and dispatched the contested shot for the brief lead.
Unfortunately, just 16 seconds later, Hunter Jenkins found the cage to bring the game level once more to force overtime.
In the first minute of extra time, Dionne capped a stellar evening with the game winning goal. The Terrier led all players with seven assists, supported with two goals.
Assists were picked up by White, Bruder and McCarthy on the Berg's offense.
Heidelberg was slightly edged on ground balls with 41, compared to Hiram's 42. Edwards led the team with seven pickups, while faceoff specialist Alex Meehan picked up 10 for the Terriers.
Starting in between the pipes, Eli Allen stopped seven shots for Heidelberg. Liam Osborne stopped 12 shots for Hiram.
The game was rather aggressive with seven Hiram penalties and five Heidelberg penalties for a total of 10 minutes of man-up play.
The Student Princes will hit the road for Wilmington College on Saturday as they return to conference play for the remainder of the season. Faceoff in Wilmington is scheduled for 1 p.m.