Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/1/14
From Press Release
The Drexel men’s lacrosse team led the entire way on Saturday afternoon as the Dragons pulled away from visiting Robert Morris at Vidas Field, 18-12. The Colonials made it a two-goal game on three separate occasions early in the fourth quarter, but could inch no closer as Drexel scored the game’s final four goals to ice things away.
Cole Shafer led the way for Drexel (2-2) with five goals and two assists on 10 shots. Ben McIntosh added four goals, while Nick Trizano tallied three and assisted on three more. Ryan Belka also had a big day with five points on two goals and three assists. JonPatrik Kealey notched three goals and an assist for Robert Morris (1-2) to lead the Colonials.
Nick Valentino (Hempfield) got the scoring started for Drexel nearly seven minutes into the game after both teams had come up empty on early tries. Valentino, who would finish the afternoon with two goals, raced in unassisted and beat Robert Morris goalkeeper Brian Bohn to give the Dragons the 1-0 lead. Nearly four minutes later, Shafer got his first score off a feed from Trizano to put Drexel up by two.
Robert Morris would get on the board after over 14 scoreless minutes when Chris Barney, the Colonials’ faceoff man, took a Kealey feed with 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Dragons got some breathing room in the second quarter, scoring four of the period’s first five goals to give themselves a 6-2 advantage. Trizano scored twice for Drexel, while freshman Jake Gennosa notched his first collegiate goal with 3:30 remaining in the first half, giving the Dragons its four-goal cushion. Drexel would go into the break up 7-3 after Kealey and McIntosh traded scores.
Shafer added two more in the third quarter to put Drexel on top 10-5 before the Colonials began their comeback. Luke Laszkiewicz worked his way around the Dragon defense and scored with 2:35 remaining. Both teams had chances before the Dragons turned it over in Robert Morris territory with about 10 seconds remaining on the clock. Eric Rankel (Downingtown West) picked the ball up and raced the length of the field, scoring just before the horn sounded to signal the end of the third quarter.
Rankel finished with three goals, three caused turnovers and two groundballs. Older brother Tyler Rankel (Downingtown West) had two groundballs and a caused turnover.
Belka and Shafer scored within the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, leaving the Dragons ahead 12-8 with 10:31 to play, but the Colonials kept coming. Rankel and Laszkiewicz had two quick scores to slash the Drexel lead to two with 8:43 remaining. After Trizano gave Drexel a little more breathing room with 7:45 remaining, the Colonials scored on a bizarre play with 7:31 to go when the Dragons lost control of a ball and let it slip into their own net. Sean Meagher got credit for the goal for Robert Morris.
Rankel followed a Belka goal with his third of the day, leaving the score at 14-12 with 5:27 to play. That would prove to be as close as Robert Morris would come, as Valentino ripped home his second goal with 4:36 remaining, pushing the lead back to three. McIntosh rammed the knife into Robert Morris with 2:28 to play, and Matt Senft twisted it just 18 seconds later, giving Drexel a commanding 17-12 lead. The Colonials pulled their goalie, allowing McIntosh one more open net score with 22 seconds remaining on the clock.
Matt Senft (Hempfield) also scored for Drexel.
Drexel is scheduled to return to action on Tuesday at Vidas Field. The Dragons will host St. John’s at 4:00 p.m., weather permitting. Check back to DrexelDragons.com as the week progresses for more details.