Mitchell's OT Winner Propels Hornets to NCAA Men's Lax Third Round

Mitchell's OT Winner Propels Hornets to NCAA Men's Lax Third Round

GRANVILLE, Ohio --- For the second time this season, Riley Mitchell scored a game-winning goal in overtime for the University of Lynchburg men's lacrosse team.

However, this one may have meant a little more. 

Mitchell's first goal of the game lifted 11th-ranked Lynchburg over St. John Fisher in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Lynchburg advances to take on No. 13 Denison on Sunday, May 14 at 4 p.m.

Mitchell was 0-9 leading up to the overtime winner with three shots on goal. On Lynchburg's second possession of overtime, he erased all those misses with presumably the most important goal of his life. He previously scored a game-winner against No. 6 Washington and Lee on March 25. 

Finn Schmidt and Jake Rust picked up the slack for Mitchell during regulation. Both players recorded hat tricks. Schmidt tallied all three of his goals in the first quarter, but the Cardinals matched the freshman with three of their own. 

Traveling from Pittsford, N.Y. and earning the Empire 8's automatic bid with a fourth-straight conference championship, the Cardinals battled tough with Lynchburg all game long. Both teams scored man-up goals in the second quarter to go along with two more goals each. 

Coming out of halftime with a 6-6 tie, Lynchburg put together its best quarter defensively all season. Rust, Spencer Vandenberg, and Robert Kirkland scored as the Hornets shut out Fisher over the third period. Tyler Hadley made four of his 18 saves in the shutout quarter. 

Riley Frankel won two big faceoffs in the fourth, but Fisher stormed back with a 4-1 run to force overtime. 

Michael Kraus won his ninth faceoff of the game to open the extra period, but the Hornets turned it over without taking a shot. 

On the other end of the field, Lynchburg locked down defensively. Fisher had two looks at goal but were off target both times. Dom Zingo picked up a ground ball just before the Cardinals would have turned it over on a shot-clock violation. 

The Hornets took a timeout to set up their offense before what became the final possession of the day. After swinging the ball around, Mitchell finally made his run downhill. He got the shot off just before a second defender closed out on him. 

Just like he did after scoring the winning goal against W&L, Mitchell promptly shed his gloves and helmet before being rushed by his teammates in front of the Fisher bench. His 99th-career goal sent the Hornets to the third round of the NCAA tournament on SUnday, May 13 at 4 p.m.