Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/1/15
From press Release
Towson scored three straight goals in the third period to break a 6-6 tie and went on to defeat Drexel in the Colonial Athletic Association Semifinals at Rafferty Stadium. The Tigers will advance to play either UMass on Saturday in the title game.
Cole Shafer scored four times to lead Drexel as the Dragons finished their season with a 7-8 record. Ryan Belka had a goal and two assists in his final game in a Drexel uniform. Belka eneded his career 10th all-time at Drexel with 98 goals. He is tied for ninth on the school’s all-time assist list with 66 and his 164 points are ninth all-time at the school.
Drexel got on the board first when Shafer ran an isolation play and fired a shot low into the Tiger net. That would be the only goal for quite some time. Freshman Michael Kay gave the Dragons a two-goal lead when his lefty shot from 10 yards away on the wing went in the far upper corner. The lead wouldn’t last for long as the Tigers scored three times in the last 1:42 of the first quarter. Ben McCarty started the run with his fourth goal against Drexel this season with 1:42 to play. Eleven seconds later Pat Conroy scored an unassisted goal and then with a flag down and only 1.5 seconds remaining in the first, Max Siskind (Henderson) scored his first of the day putting the Tigers ahead 3-2. On the ensuing man-up, Towson’s Joe Seider gave the Tigers a two-goal lead for the first time.
Drexel answered the Towson run with three goals of its own. Ryan Belka was involved in all three as he scored the first and then set up two goals by Shafer. Shafer’s third of the game, which gave Drexel a 5-4 lead, was his 12th career goal in the CAA Championships. That broke the school record, previously held by NLL standout Robert Church. Towson closed the half with a pair of goals to take a 6-5 lead at the break.
Shafer tied the game 6-6 at the 7:02 mark in the third quarter but Towson’s Justin Mabus tallied the go-ahead goal with five seconds left in the frame. The Tigers pushed out to a three-goal lead at the 10:21 mark in the fourth quarter on a goal by Siskind. The Dragons answered 12 seconds later on a strike by Robert Frazee after Nick Saputo won the face-off. The Tigers were able to keep the Dragons off the board to advance to the title game against UMass.
Ryan Drenner had a five-point day for the Tigers, tallying four assists and a goal, while four other Tigers had multi-goal efforts. Towson’s Tyler White, the 2015 CAA Defensive Player of the Year, had eight saves, including four in the third quarter, while Jimmy Joe Granito had nine saves for Drexel.
Johns Hopkins 14, Penn State 9
Connor Darcey (Wellesley, Mass.) put up one of the best games of his career but was unable to carry the Penn State men’s lacrosse team to victory, as the Nittany Lions fell to Johns Hopkins, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal game.
Penn State ends its season with a 5-9 record, posting a 2-3 mark in Big Ten play as the tournament’s No. 4 seed.
Darcey, a redshirt-sophomore, made 17 saves, just one shy of his career-high of 18 at Harvard earlier this season (3/8). He turned away 11 shots in the first half alone, nearly four times more than his counterpart, Eric Schneider.
Matt Florence (Greenwood Village, Colo.) led Penn State with two goals and two assists. TJ Sanders (Orillia, Ontario) also scored a pair of goals for the Nittany Lions, adding an assist to his ledger. Dan Craig (Shelburne, Ontario) recorded a goal and an assist. Brian Prestreau (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), James Burke (Duxbury, Mass.), Ryan Keenan (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Matt Sexton (Niskayuna, N.Y.) netted a goal each, and Nick Aponte (West Islip, N.Y.) assisted on a goal to round out Penn State’s scoring.
Drake Kreinz (Delafield, Wis.) narrowly edged out Johns Hopkins (8-6) at the face-off ‘X’, 13-25.The Blue Jays out-shot the Nittany Lions, 40-33, with Penn State led by Florence’s nine. Johns Hopkins also won the ground ball battle, 30-24. Penn State went 3-for-4 with the extra man, a season-best, and the Blue Jays were 2-for-3.
The Blue Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter, holding the Nittany Lions scoreless until just nine seconds remained in the opening frame. Sanders carried the ball from ‘X’, got to the top of the crease and finished with a right-handed wraparound for Penn State’s first of the game. His 28th of the season sparked a six-goal Nittany Lion run, allowing the Blue and White to take its first lead of the contest.
A flurry of goals midway through the second quarter put Penn State on top. With 8:34 left in the stanza, Keenan received a nearside pass from Aponte at the goal line extended for his first collegiate tally.
Thirty-eight seconds later, Sanders’ second of the game, a high-to-low shot, put the game within two at 5-3.
Just over a minute later at 6:48 while on the man-up, Sanders sent a horizontal feed to Florence, who stepped into a shot just below the crossbar.
After the ensuing face-off was wiped out due to a conduct foul on the Blue Jays’ head coach, Florence threw an overhand shot into the far right top corner four seconds after his first of the game and the 5-5 game-tying goal.
The Nittany Lions didn’t let up and with 4:22 remaining in the quarter, Aponte traveled from ‘X’ and threw it on Schneider. Craig was able to pick up the rebound to give Penn State its first lead of the game at 6-5.
But Johns Hopkins responded to the Nittany Lions’ offensive outburst ferociously, outscoring Penn State 9-3 in the game’s final 34 minutes for the final 14-9 score.
Florida 18, Villanova 8
The Villanova women’s lacrosse team (9-8, 4-4 BIG EAST) closed the books on the best season the program has seen in over a decade with a 18-8 loss over the No. 11/14 Florida Gators (13-5, 7-1 BIG EAST). However, the final score does not reflect the effort put forth by Head Coach Julie Young’s squad who sent the Gators into the locker room at half with a close score of 8-4.
Senior captains Jackie Froccaro and Jessica Mucci finished their Villanova careers with standout performances as they led the team with four and three points, respectively.
While the scoreboard overwhelmingly favored the Gators, the Wildcats nearly matched them in multiple categories. The Gators held slight leads in draw controls (UF 15, VU 13), ground balls (UF 7, VU 4) while the Wildcats tallied more saves (VU 7, UF 6).
The Gators came out of the gate swinging as Florida’s star scorer Shannon Gilroy found the back of the net within the first 30 seconds of the game. Mucci quickly returned the favor as the senior made a fantastic goal from behind the crease to put Nova on the board.
The Gators would continue with six unanswered goals on the board in the first half of the period to run the score up 7-1 before Froccaro scored her first of three goals for the night at 11:28.
Froccar0 would ultimately lead the Wildcats with three goals and five draw controls as the senior helped keep the tempo of a Nova offense, which was determined and poised to give the Gators a run for their money.
Froccaro’s goal sparked the Nova offense as junior Shannon Galvin would find the back of the net off a pass from Froccaro at 5:38 and Mucci connected with junior Meghan Breen at 1:12 to give the Wildcats a narrow gap to chase coming into the second half.
One of the brightest performances of the game came from freshman Julia Michaels who had not seen play since the Cincinnati game in early April who came in after the Gator’s six-goal streak to quickly post three saves including a one-on-one situation with the nation’s top goal scorer Shannon Gilroy.
The Wildcats continued to impress as Froccaro posted her second goal of the night at 26:08 to five the Gators only a three-point spread with a score of 8-5. That would unfortunately be the smallest point margin, as UF would score eight goals, which would only be interrupted slightly by an eight-meter shot from Galvin at 13:44.
The seniors wrapped up the game as Hannah Goforth would score a goal at 5:18 off a pass from Mucci and Froccaro would score off one final free-position to put the games on the books with a final score of 18-8.
Froccaro would end her third season with a career 99 goals.
“I am incredibly proud of our performance tonight,” said Head Coach Julie Young. “Even though we were down early we fought back to get back into this game and we brought great momentum into the second half. We have had a lot of big moments this season and it is great to see the progress we have made over the past four seasons. These seniors should be proud of the legacy they are leaving behind