Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/2/13
From Press Release
Drexel freshman Frank Fusco’s goal with 1:55 to play broke a 12-12 tie and gave the Dragons a 13-12 win at Robert Morris.
The Dragons trailed 12-10 midway through the fourth quarter, but scored three straight goals to pick up the road win. Robert Church scored five goals and had two assists as the 14th-ranked Dragons improved to 3-1.
Robert Morris (2-2) opened the fourth quarter with three straight goals to turn a one-goal deficit into a two-goal lead. Taylor Graves set up Tyler Digby to even it at 10-10 with 13:43 to play. Less than two minutes later Mitch Wilde put the Colonials up with a goal from right on the door step.
Wilde would beat Drexel goalkeeper Will Gabrielsen one more time, this time with 8:25 to play to give RMU an 12-10 lead. The Dragons stopped the Colonials run moments later as Ryan Belka scored to complete the hat trick and trim the lead to just one.
The Colonials lead evaporated at the 4:32 mark, when Ben McIntosh set up Church, who fired his fifth goal of the day past Charles Ruppert to make it a 12-12 game. Fusco made his only goal of the game a memorable one, as the freshman fired a shot from the right side into the back of the net with just 1:55 left.
Robert Morris had a huge chance to tie the game just seconds later when Morton collected a pass right in front of the Drexel cage, but Gabrielsen somehow foiled the Colonials’ attempt to tie as Drexel escaped with its third straight come-from-behind win.
Drexel has been a second half team to begin the year and Saturday was no different. The Dragons scored six times in the third period, including three by Church in the first five minutes as Drexel took the lead for the first time at 8-7.
Robert Morris answered when Jake Hayes and Dave Morton found the back of the net just six seconds apart, giving the Colonials the lead at 9-8. Drexel would counter with two more of its own. Ryan Belka set up Andrew Vivian for his second goal of the game with just under five minutes left in the third. Less than a minute later, Belka scored the second of his three goals to give Drexel a 10-9 lead it would take into the final period.
The Colonials and Dragons exchanged goals the entire first period. Robert Morris had the lead four times, including a 4-3 edge at the end of the period as Dave Morton (Hill School) scored the Colonials fourth goal of the period.
Morton had two goals and an assist while freshman Eric Rankel (Downingtown West) had two goals, four groundballs and two caused turnovers.
Chris Walsh (Downingtown East) led the Drexel defense with three groundballs and middie Jason Klunder (Conestoga) added two groundballs.
Two of Drexel’s three goals were scored with a man advantage, one by Belka and the other by Andrew Vivian. Church scored the team’s only even strength goal of the quarter. The Colonials extended their lead to two by intermission.
RMU’s Jake Hayes and Tyler Rankel (Downingtown West) scored goals sandwiched around a Nick Trizano score to put the Colonials ahead, 6-4. Drexel outshot the Colonials big in the first half, 29-14, but Ruppert had 11 saves in the first half.
Church’s five-goal performance gave him 96 career goals at Drexel, moving him into eighth place all-time at the school. Belka finished the day with three goals and four points as he recorded his first career hat trick.
The Dragons outshot the Colonials, 51-28. Ruppert came up with 14 saves in goal for RMU. Gabrielsen had eight saves for Drexel.