Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/19/11
From Press Releases
In the league’s most anticipated match-up of the regular season, the game lived up to its billing with Widener coming up with big plays and gaining first place by itself tonight in the Middle Atlantic Conference with a 10-6 victory over Messiah at Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium.
The third quarter proved vital for Widener (10-2, 9-0), which began things 64 seconds in when senior defender Matt Parrott (Downingtown West) raced down the field and scored his first career goal to give Widener a 5-4 lead.
Senior JJ Hoeffler scored two-and-a-half minutes into the period for Widener before James Baden scored for Messiah just under 1:30 later for a 6-5 contest.
The Pride gained some momentum as its defense killed off a 5-on-3 disadvantage that lasted 29 seconds. The end result saw Widener eventually grab a 7-5 lead with 3:47 remaining in the third when sophomore Johnny Casey (Abington) scored his third goal of the game.
With Widener holding a 7-6 lead entering the fourth, it looked to maintain its edge and did just that 1:54 in when junior Michael Bassani scored for a two-goal margin.
The defense took over from there, limiting Messiah’s opportunities and never letting the visitors get back into the game. Junior Mark Kane (Ridley) and Hoeffler scored empty-net tallies with Falcons goalkeeper Zac Cureton chasing the Pride in the final minute.
Freshmen Robert Clemens (Sun Valley) and Timothy Winslow also scored for the Pride (10-2, 8-0 MAC), who have won eight straight for their longest run since a 10-game burst in 2006. Freshman Mac Nestler made eight saves over 30 minutes to help Widener post a 50-27 shots advantage and reach double figures in victories a school-record 10th straight season.
Baden scored twice, Kevan Schellenburg dished two assists and JJ Miller won 16-of-19 face-offs for Messiah (9-3, 7-1), which had its nine-game winning streak snapped.
The win guarantees a home conference tournament game for the Pride either in the first round or the semifinals. Widener can clinch a first-round bye with a victory Thursday at King’s in a contest that starts at 4:00 pm in Wilkes-Barre, PA.