For a lacrosse goal to count in the closing seconds of any period, the ball has to physically cross the goal line before time expires. It’s one reason why true buzzer beaters are nearly impossible in the sport.
The emphasis on that prior sentence is nearly, because Greenwich somehow found a way to accomplish precisely that in a Connecticut state lacrosse tournament game against Staples from fellow Fairfield County town Westport.
With the game tied at 11 and just seconds remaining in regulation, Greenwich attacker Matt Baugher — who finished with four goals and two assists — got the ball on the left wing. He cut in, created just enough space to get off a shot, then sunk what became the game winner just an instant before the final buzzer sounded.
The goal counted. No overtime, and no more lacrosse for Staples.
“Last year I had the same exact goal, almost the same exact time as this game,” Baugher told the Greenwich Time. “I knew time was of the essence and I had to get a goal. The captains on our team have led me up to this point and I wasn’t thinking of ending it today.”
Greenwich’s victory earned the Cardinals a quarterfinal matchup against Darien, a national power currently ranked No. 5 in the USA TODAY Super 25. Whether they win or lose, getting there was an accomplishment forged in an immaculate last second goal, all credit to Baugher.