Four quarters were not enough to settle it in this one as Mendham squeaked out a 10-9 overtime victory over No. 7 Westfield on Tuesday afternoon at Kehler Stadium.
Mendham was able to seal the victory. The Blue Devils fell behind early in the first period and were unable to take a lead until the final three minutes of the fourth quarter but kept the game close, trading goals with their opponent throughout.
Jackson O’Leary’s (3 G, 3 GB) man-up goal with 2:58 to play gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the game. O’Leary’s goal came on a beautiful low-angle rip from the left side that went low and past Mendham goalie Tyler Avallone (16 saves).
With the lead now in hand Westfield had three minutes to secure the one-goal victory. Not to be outdone, the Minutemen stuck once more with 96 seconds to play to knot the game at nine.
A Mendham penalty gave the Blue Devils an extra-man opportunity with :05 to play in regulation allowing the home team to start the overtime period with an extra man. Westfield failed to convert in their 55 seconds of extra-man play and the two teams were now both at full strength to finish out the final three minutes of the sudden death period.
Dane Huber (1 G, 1 A, 4 GB) opened up the scoring just 1:24 into the first period on a pretty finish off of an impressive Sam Rosenburgh (1 A, 1 GB) feed to give Westfield the 1-0 lead. From there, both teams seemed to get into a scoring groove as each scored three in the opening period.
The back and forth game featured two evenly matched squads as the score remained within one throughout the 50-plus minutes of play. Mendham’s attack was paced by attacks Marcus Griffin (3 G) and Tim Lewis (2 G) and midfielder Will Robinson (4 G). John Lanzano (3 GB) and the Westfield defense did a solid job marking the dangerous Robinson all afternoon.
Alex McHugh relieved starter Garrett Williamson in goal at the half with each allowing five of the Minutemen tallies. Paul Devita picked up a goal and three assists while Jack Flaherty scored and assisted on a goal of his own. Flaherty’s third period tally was the goal of the afternoon as he took a Devita feed in stride and buried the goal as he was falling over to knot the game at six.
Westfield will look to rebound on Saturday afternoon at Kehler when they host No. 3 Delbarton at 2 p.m.