Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/11/14
By David A. Willauer
and from Press Release
What started as a gorgeous afternoon to showcase Philadelphia lacrosse on a national stage turned into a coming out party for the Drexel men’s lacrosse team as the Dragons won their first-ever NCAA Tournament game, 16-11, today over neighboring Penn at Franklin Field.
The Dragons utilized a scintillating 7-0 scoring run stretching from late in the second quarter until midway through the third to gain control of the game.
Drexel advances to the Elite Eight next Sunday at Delaware Stadium where they will meet Denver at either 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
Face-off specialist Nick Saputo notched a hat trick in the win, scoring three times in the first half. All three goals came in the final 12 seconds of quarters, including two in the final 12 seconds of the first half that stunned the crowd of 2,852 and send Drexel (13-4) into intermission up 7-6.
His first goal of the second quarter was preceded by a Jules Raucci (Garnet Valley) score, the first of two for the sophomore, to begin a streak of three Drexel goals in just over 11 seconds turning a 6-4 deficit into a 7-6 halftime edge.
The Dragons scored the first four goals of the second half as well, and at one point had scored 10 of 11 late in the fourth quarter to send the large Drexel fan contingent into a frenzy.
Ben McIntosh added a hat trick, all of which came in the second half. His third goal was the senior’s 46th of the season, setting a new Drexel single-season record. Jared Boudreau, Ryan Belka and Nick Trizano each joined Raucci with two goals, while Hank Brown and Chris Frederick contributed scores.
For Frederick, the goal which gave Drexel an 11-6 lead with 8:25 remaining in the third quarter was his first goal of the season. Raucci added two assists for the Dragons, while Trizano, Belka and Cole Shafer each registered one.
McIntosh and Saputo each had hat tricks for the Dragons. Saputo’s three goals were a career-high, but he made his mark in this game at the center of the field. He won 21 of his 30 face-offs and had 12 ground balls.
Jules Raucci (Garnet Valley) had two goals and two assists, Miles Thomas (Conestoga) contributed three groundballs and fellow defenseman Tyler Houchins (La Salle) had a groundball and a caused turnover while d-middie Jordan Klunder (Conestoga) had four groundballs as Philly players made key performance for the Dragons.
“There was so much attention on my teammates and the alley was wide open,” said Raucci.
Will Gabrielsen came up big in the cage for Drexel. Gabrielsen turned aside 12 shots, including five in the opening quarter when Penn fired 17 shots at the sophomore. He made a number of stops from close in as Penn was trying to get back in the game.
“It’s a great feeling to be here in our first NCAA Tournament, we had a fair first half but in the second half Will Gabrielson stepped up and made a lot of key saves,” said Drexel coach Brian Voelker. “That was a huge team effort; I’m proud of these guys.
“Jules Raucci had a great game; he has worked hard on his game. He was more comfortable in himself this year then he was last year.”
For Penn, Joe McCallion (Haverford School) had a goal and an assist and Chris Hilburn (Malvern Prep) scored once while Chris Hupfeldt (Haverford School) had an assist and a caused turnover.
Penn outshot its University City neighbors, 47-45, but Drexel won 11 more face-offs and had 40 ground balls to Penn’s 31. The Dragons turned the ball over 19 times, but were still able to win and advance. The Quakers were led by Nick Doktor’s four points. Brian Feeney came up with nine stops in the cage for Penn and John Lopes (Conestoga) had one.
Drexel 16, Penn 11
Drexel SCORING: GOALS: McIntosh, Ben 3; Saputo, Nick 3; Raucci, Jules 2; Trizano, Nick 2; Belka, Ryan 2; Boudreau, Jared 2; Frederick, Chris 1; Brown, Hank 1.
ASSISTS: Raucci, Jules 2; Belka, Ryan 1; Shafer, Cole 1; Trizano, Nick 1.
Penn SCORING: GOALS: Doktor, Nick 3; Belinsky, Drew 1; McCallion, Joe 1; Berkery, Pat 1; Losco, Zack 1; Brown, Kevin 1; Bock, Isaac 1; Hilburn, Chris 1; Blonsky, Alex 1.
ASSISTS: Belinsky, Drew 1; Doktor, Nick 1; Hupfeldt, Chris 1; McCallion, Joe 1; McMahon, Matt 1.