Stottler Lifts Bobcats In Overtime Thriller
By Zach Smart
Mike Stottler knew at the season’s start that being plunged into a leadership role would entail coming through in the clutch, something the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team hasn’t done enough of in recent years.
Stottler, the Bobcats senior captain and scoring leader, has been the go-to-guy when the game’s on the line. He’s responded to pressure in crunch time, leaving many jaws dropped in the process.
Against Hartford on April 12, the nerveless midfielder deposited a shot in the back of the net just 38 seconds into overtime to lift the Bobcats to a much-needed 8-7 victory. The win snapped a three-game skid.
On April 14, in a non-league game against in-state foe Sacred Heart at the turf field, Stottler and Quinnipiac were in a similar position. The score was deadlocked, 9-9, with just a few ticks remaining. The Bobcats, who suffered a critical 10-9 loss to Denver after failing to piece together a scoring attempt during their final possession, needed someone to step up.
Stottler didn’t flinch.
He scooped up a groundball and blasted a shot past goaltender Ricardo Vargas as the overtime buzzer sounded, lifting the Bobcats to a 10-9 victory before a stunned yet excited crowd of 574. With the win, the ‘Cats improved to 5-5 on the year.
It was the most coach Erik Fekete and the Bobcats could have asked from their leader, especially in a game of this magnitude. This was for bragging rights. It was for a second consecutive victory that would build confidence for upcoming Great Western Lacrosse League action, against some of the same players whom the Bobcats play on summer teams with.
Both teams reeled off strong runs in a back-and-forth battle of a game.
The ‘Cats forced overtime after Tucker Prudden’s shot tied it up with 2:54 remaining in regulation.
Stottler had five goals to lead all scorers. Prudden chipped in with three.
Freshman Jamie Prudden, Tucker’s younger brother, received his second start of the year after Roger Fish was relegated to the bench. Prudden stopped seven shots while allowing nine to get the “W.”