Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/18/17
The Ursinus College men’s lacrosse team kicked off the 2017 spring season in impressive fashion Saturday, using a first-quarter spurt to fend off Frostburg State for a 10-8 victory on a glorious mid-February afternoon at Patterson Field.
Junior Gerard Brown picked up right where he left off as an All-American a season ago with two goals and three assists – all of his helpers coming in the first quarter – and sophomore goalkeeper Elliott Shevitz (15 saves) came up with a bevy of big second-half stops to garner a hard-earned win in his collegiate debut. Sophomore Peter DeSimone and junior Ian Desenberg tallied twice apiece, and freshman Bobby McClure (Haverford High) produced a goal and three assists in his own debut.
With their first victory ever against Frostburg State, which received votes in the USILA preseason poll, the 17th-ranked Bears won their eighth straight season opener. Brown continued his habit of going off in lid-lifters, racking up five points a year removed from a three-goal, five-assist outburst against Albright.
The Bears came out firing, opening the scoring just over a minute in when Brown fed a pass over the top of the net for Desenberg, who converted with ease for an early 1-0 lead.
After the Bobcats leveled a few minutes later, Ursinus took command with a four-goal run over the rest of the opening frame. The rookies played a big role, McClure having a hand in the next three markers. First, he hit classmate Noah Frantz (Strath Haven) for a shot out in front, then scored himself on an assist by DeSimone just a minute later.
The Bears tacked on two more in the final minute, first on a right-handed rocket by McClure and again with 10.3 seconds left, when Desenberg cut alone toward the cage, took a pass from Brown in stride, and finished into the top corner of the net to extend the home side’s lead to 5-1.
Frostburg State got on the board first in the second, but the Bears were back on track with an impressive move by junior Lou Harrison (Ridley), who received a pass from senior Conor Fitzgerald before spinning and firing past Jack Marks for a 6-2 lead. The teams traded goals until halftime, with DeSimone netting his second and Brown his first at the 2:18 mark as the Bears went into the break with an 8-4 advantage.
Brown started the third-quarter scoring by muscling in for a left-handed shot from just outside the crease about halfway through the period. The Bobcats made a push with back-to-back goals in the next two minutes, but McClure got the Bears back on track with a beautiful find for sophomore Tim Miller; McClure’s pass across the crease found the stick of Miller at the opposite post, and the long-stick midfielder capitalized with his second career goal to make it 10-6 with 4:16 remaining in the third.
Shevitz came up with two big saves during a one-minute man-up chance for Frostburg State late in the quarter.
The Bobcats made it a game again in the final frame, getting goals from Jake Bowling and Nate Collins in the first 2:23 to get within 10-8. The visitors had a golden chance to cut the margin to one after an Ursinus turnover, but Shevitz stoned Collins on the doorstep in transition to preserve the multi-marker edge.
Frostburg State twice nearly had another one, but Paul Ruppert’s shot rattled the crossbar and Collins rang the post about 30 seconds later. Though it bounced high into the air off the iron, Ruppert’s shot was originally ruled a goal, but the officials overturned it after a brief conference. The Bobcats outshot Ursinus, 18-4, in the fourth, but seven saves by Shevitz kept the Bears in the driver’s seat.
Shevitz finished with 15 saves, ten of them after halftime, in a sparkling debut. In addition to a goal apiece, Frantz and Miller each caused two turnovers to lead the defensive effort in front of the new net-minder.
Swarthmore 15, Albright 14
The Garnet started off the 2017 campaign the right way, earning a tough road win at Albright.
With temperatures in the high 60s for the season opener, the Garnet got it going early, tallying five goals in the first quarter and holding an 8-6 lead at halftime. The teams both posted four goals in the third and had an even fourth quarter save for an Albright tally with one second remaining.
Sophomore Dylan Rittenhouse (Downingtown East) led the Garnet with four goals, one in each quarter, including the Garnet’s first goal of 2017. Junior attackman Cam Marsh netted a hat trick as did rookie Nathaniel Johns. Marsh and Johns were also successful at setting up their teammates to score with Marsh recording three assists and Johns two more. Freshman Zander Levitz recorded a pair of goals to go along with an assist. Matt Johnston and Griffin Johnston added a goal, as did freshman Austin Chang, the first of his collegiate career.
Four of Swarthmore’s goals came on extra-man opportunities as the Garnet were a perfect 4-for-4 in man-up situations. The Garnet committed four penalties, conceding two man-up goals.
Cam Cetrone had six goals and an assists and Andrew Potter had two goals and four assists for Albright.
Widener 9, Virginia Wesleyan 8
Senior Tyler Schulte (Seneca, N.J.) keyed a fourth-quarter rally by setting up a goal and netting the eventual game-winning marker to lift the Pride to a thrilling win over Virginia Wesleyan in the season opener for both schools on an unseasonably warm afternoon at Leslie C. Quick Stadium.
Widener (1-0) trailed 8-6 after three quarters, but the defense being anchored by junior John Ferguson (Springfield-Delco) and senior Scott Allison (Downingtown East) only allowed the Marlins to attempt three shots in the final frame and goalkeeper Matt Horton (Emmaus) came up with two saves to keep the visitors off the board. With the Pride controlling play in their offensive end, Schulte found sophomore Kevin Kerby for his first marker of the season with 12:15 remaining to slice the Virginia Wesleyan lead in half to kickstart a rally. Freshman Paz Gismondi (West Deptford, N.J.) then found the back of the net to tie the game at 8-all with 5:14 on the clock, and Schulte provided the game-winning marker by faking out goalkeeper Chris McTague at the 3:02 mark.
Virginia Wesleyan, however, did not go down without a fight and had a golden opportunity to tie the score when a routine pass was mishandled by the Pride behind the goal. The Marlins were able to successfully clear the ball and called a timeout, but Matt Baldwin turned it over before the team could attempt a shot. Ferguson scooped up the ground ball, and the ensuing clear attempt was successful to allow the Pride to run out the rest of the clock and hang on for the one-goal win.
The Pride got off to a fast start by scoring two goals less than 10 seconds apart to take a quick 2-0 lead. Sophomore Shane Taylor (Archbishop Ryan) and junior Chris Drake each found the back of the to give the hosts a lead they would never concede in the opening half. The Pride then jumped out to a 5-1 advantage early in the second quarter by getting another marker from Taylor and carried a one-goal lead into the break before rallying from behind in the fourth to come away with the victory.
Widener, which outshot its opponent by a count of 46-30, got balanced scoring and was led by Gismondi on the offensive end. The freshman recorded a team-high four points on two goals and two assists in his collegiate debut. Taylor notched a hat trick, and Drake added two goals and a helper. Horton turned away seven shots on the defensive end, while Ferguson picked up four ground balls to help the hosts come away with the win.
Stevens 14, Arcadia 2
York 13, Eastern 6