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Clutch-Shooting Ragge Sparks Incredible Season-Ending Comeback

©Gabriel Fidler
©Gabriel Fidler

BOSTON, Mass. – The Massachusetts Maritime Academy men's lacrosse team stunned Emerson College with a fourth quarter comeback and Franklin Ragge gave the Buccaneers the win with a shot that hit the net a mere five seconds from the end of double overtime. The 10-9 victory in the season's final game was the first NEWMAC win of the year for the Bucs.

Although the linescore would indicate a game that was close throughout, the Buccaneers found themselves down 9-5 with just over 10 minutes left in the game. The Lions' Jared Brush scored all three goals for the host in the first quarter. An unassisted marker from Maritime's Ted Powers at 12:31 left in the second was the only score for the visitors in the first half.

The teams traded goals in the third, with Austin Franklin's goal at 10:33 answered by Keaghan Bartley at 7:02. A series of turnovers from the subsequent face-off eventually delivered the ball to Cody Livermore, who fired home to bring the margin to 4-3.

However, the Lions scored quickly off the ensuing tête-à-tête as Brush found the net again with 2:37 remaining in the third.

Emerson won the face-off yet again, this time on a violation, by a wild shot by Brush delivered the ball into Maritime's hands and Alexandre Lucas found Ragge in the D. The sophomore warmed up for his overtime heroics with a net-finder at just 11 seconds in the quarter and it was Emerson 5, MMA 4.

The hosts took advantage of a one-minute penalty just after the restart, with Tim Doyle beating Michael Dolan on a marker for the Lions. Though Lucas quickly got the goal back, Emerson would score the next three goals as Cameron Radenberg caught fire. Radenberg scored two of the keeper-beaters and assisted on the other as Franklin netted again.

After Emerson's ninth goal, the Bucs came charging back. Sean Smialek forced a turnover off the face-off and Brendan Kelly picked up the groundball. Lucas then continued his improved play of late with another goal, this time assisted by Colby Unterstein. Kelly finished with five groundballs in the game.

The restart had almost the exact same result, with Matthew Pierson grabbing the groundball and Power sending the ball to Bartley for Bucs' seventh with 6:50 left in the game.

The next three-and-one-half minutes saw the ball fly up-and-down the pitch, with neither side able to take a quality shot. That all changed as Smialek forced another turnover, this time picking up the grounder himself. Lucas took the ball into the offensive third himself and fired home for the hat trick at 3:07.

Once more, Emerson took the face-off and Maritime caused the turnover, this time by Dolan, who then gathered in the grounder. After clearing the ball downfield, Head Coach Rick Bagby called a timeout with 1:15 left in the contest. Whatever the skipper told his men worked like a charm as Ragge rocketed a ball that was saved by Bailey Kennedy, but Maritime brought the ball back in and Livermore found Unterstein, who once more scored with seconds on the clock.

The final 44 seconds wound down without incident and the umpires signalled for four minutes to go on the scoreboard. The first overtime period was all Maritime as the visitors only improved as the game went on. The Bucs out-shot their hosts 7-1 in the stanza and controlled the ball for all but 46 seconds, but could not find the net.

Despite yet another turnover on the face-off and a subsequent 30-second Emerson penalty, the Navy-and-Gold continued to be stymied as Kennedy hauled in two more saves. With the seconds furiously ticking, Ragge put one on frame, but the save allowed Livermore to rifle the ball back to Maritime's go-to striker of late and Ragge did not miss the second time, unloading a shot from which a legend was made.

The buzzer-beating goal was his second of the game and eighth in his last five appearances, as the recently announced selection to the NEWMAC All-Academic Team showed his on-field intelligence in finally delivering the comeback the Bucs have needed in the last two weeks.

Ragge shot 12 times in the game, putting seven on frame, while Alexandre Lucas had four points, putting 5-of-6 attempts on goal. The Buccaneers out-shot Emerson 44-32, but the advantage shifted to 11-2 in overtime. A team normally known for winning its face-offs thanks to the remarkable Michael Sharry, MMA won only 3-of-22 restarts, but forced 11 turnovers and committed only 12 to the Lions' 23.

Kennedy had 15 saves, while Michael Dolan had eight. Emerson picked up an astounding 43 groundballs to the victors' 22. Austin DiPietro was a one-man wrecking ball at center for the Lions, gathering in an eye-popping 16 groundballs and winning 86 percent of face-offs. Brush had four goals, while Franklin had two markers and three assists.

The Academy's lacrosse men will finish the season at 6-8, with a 1-6 NEWMAC record. Emerson dropped to 5-11, 0-7. All-Conference Teams will be announced in May, so stay tuned as several Buccaneers remain hopeful for awards.

In the meantime, bookmark and get the inside scoop on Facebook and Twitter @mmabuccaneers. Plus, check out our new Instagram @massmaritimebuccaneers.

Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate


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