Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/4/13
From Press Release
In another gut-wrenching contest with an NCAA Tournament berth on the line, Widener gave up a goal by Chris Dashiell with 8.9 seconds remaining in a tough 9-8 loss to fourth-ranked Stevenson in the Commonwealth Conference final in Owings Mills, MD.
The first three quarters witnessed eight goals as Stevenson held a 5-3 lead. But no one could have expected what followed as nine goals were scored in the fourth quarter, including two in the final minute.
Widener got things started 63 seconds into the period when freshman Tim Taylor (Archbishop Ryan) scored off a feed from junior Robert Clemens (Sun Valley) for a 5-4 deficit. The Pride were given a man-up opportunity two minutes later and took advantage as senior Josh Fox (Lower Merion) scored his third of the contest, thanks to an assist from senior Ryan Eidenshink (La Salle) for a 5-5 game.
The Pride had not led yet and no team had scored three straight goals at this point. That would change with 7:44 remaining when senior Johnny Casey (Abington) found the back of the net off Clemens’ feed for a 6-5 margin.
The Mustangs squared things, 6-6, with 6:22 remaining on Nick Rossi’s man-up tally. They regained the advantage with 5:40 to play when Pat Candon fired one home.
Widener refused to go away as Eidenshink, who scored in overtime Wednesday in the semifinals at Albright, tallied off Fox’s assist for a 7-7 game. Both defenses played tough until Stevenson got the ball and regained the lead on Billy Burgoyne’s tally from Candon with 1:29 to play, making it 8-7.
The Pride then took advantage of a crazy bounce with 53 seconds remaining to forge an 8-8 tie. Fox had the ball just outside the crease that was batted to Taylor, who took a swing at it baseball style and knocked it home past a stunned Mustangs defense.
Widener (11-6) won the ensuing face-off and Andrew Vogel got off a shot that was saved by Dmitri Pecunes. Mark Pannenton ran the other way for Stevenson and has hit shot saved by junior Mac Nestler, but a failed clear by the Pride set up the game-winner.
Peter Green picked up the ball and passed it on the left wing to conference Player of the Year Dashiell, who fired one home for the decider.
Nestler, picked first team all-league, was the story for the Pride as he totaled a career-high 22 saves to best his previous high of 18 accomplished twice. Fox notched his fifth hat trick of the season to go with two assists and Taylor posted his seventh hat trick.
Tyler Reid scored three times, Rossi netted two and Pecunes amassed 12 saves for the Mustangs (17-2).
It was another tough setback for the Pride, who fell by one goal for the second straight year in playing for a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Widener last year fell at Eastern, 12-11, in overtime.
This was only Widener’s fifth loss in 30 conference-tournament games and it ends another great year in which it was ranked as high as 16th in the country, upended then No. 13 Gettysburg and lost four games to ranked teams by a total of eight goals. The Pride also were playing in a conference final for the ninth straight year.