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Men’s lacrosse: Widener, Albright to meet for Commonwealth Conference title after semifinal victories

Tuesday, 1st May 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 5/1/12
From Press Releases

Junior Johnny Casey (Abington) had three goals and an assist during the decisive second quarter that had Widener on its way to a 17-7 victory tonight over Lycoming in the Commonwealth Conference semifinals.

Widener (8-7) improves to 23-3 in conference tournament games and will visit Albright on Thursday at 7:00 pm in the final. The winner of that game then faces either Eastern or FDU-Florham on Saturday for the Middle Atlantic Conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

This is the first year the MAC was broken up into the Commonwealth and Freedom Conferences.

It is the most goals the Pride have scored in a conference tournament game since a 19-17 win at Lycoming in the MAC semifinals on August 30, 2008. Widener also moves to 7-0 in the conference tournament against Lycoming.

Casey began his exploits with 9:38 to go in the second quarter, his second goal of the game that gave the Pride a 5-4 lead they would never relinquish. After senior Mark Kane (Ridley) and junior Josh Fox (Lower Merion) tallied, Casey scored twice in the final two minutes of the period for a 9-4 Widener halftime lead.

Casey, freshman Kyle Blakemore (Ridley) and senior Ryan Shewell scored in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half, capping a run which the Pride put home nine straight for a 12-4 cushion.

Casey’s five goals are one short of a season high. Kane had three goals and an assist, Shewell also recorded a hat trick with Blakemore and junior Ryan Eidenshink (La Salle College HS) each getting two goals. Sophomore Mac Nestler made nine saves.

Ethan Payne had a goal and an assist with Tim Clemente winning 10-of-21 face-offs for the Warriors (7-8), who had seven different goal scorers. Andrew Hauk came up with seven saves.

Albright 6, Lebanon Valley 4

Four unanswered Albright goals to end the game proved to be the difference as it came back to beat Lebanon Valley in the Commonwealth Conference Semifinals.

The Lions (16-2) move on to host Widener in Thursday’s final, while the Dutchmen end their season at 9-6, the most wins in program history after making their first-ever postseason appearance.

LVC’s defense turned in a Herculean effort to hold the Lions to their lowest goal total of the season, but offense was hard to come by in the second half for the Dutchmen, who were held scoreless for the final 25 minutes of the game.

Albright’s Darian Meador controlled face-offs 9-4, and that proved to be key in the second half as he won four of five in the third quarter to spark a four-goal outburst in the period.

As in their regular-season meeting, the game was a virtual dead heat on paper, with Albright leading 34-30 on shots and the teams being equal almost everywhere else. Andrew Torak and Mike Moll each made nine saves.

First-quarter scores by Malik Pedroso and Ian Schmid put LVC up 2-1, and Scott Travers’ strike midway through the second gave the visitors a 3-1 lead at the half.

The hosts started the second half with TJ Holston’s man-up goal before Jordan Mayr tallied with 10:12 left in the third, but that would be the final goal of the game for LVC. Albright scored twice in a 49-second span thanks to Justin Brown and Nick Pisko (Abington), and Bryan Smith hit with 0.9 seconds left in the third quarter to take Albright’s first lead of the game at 5-4.

Holston found the net again with 4:08 left in the game to cement the lead at 6-4, and LVC never managed a shot for the balance.

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