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Franks scores 7 goals to help Widener advance to MAC Commonwealth semifinals

Tuesday, 2nd May 2017

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 5/2/17
From Press Release

Sophomore Brady Franks (State College, Pa.) factored into a career-high eight goals as the Widener University men’s lacrosse team rallied to defeat Lebanon Valley by a 12-11 decision on Monday evening at Leslie C. Quick Stadium.

Widener improved to 9-7 overall and advanced to the semifinal round of the conference tournament, while Lebanon Valley ended its campaign with an overall ledger of 9-8.

Widener will trek to face top-seeded Stevenson, which is also ranked 17th nationally in the latest USILA poll, in a semifinal matchup on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m.

Despite surrendering a lead and trailing by a 10-8 score through three quarters, Widener caught fire when it needed to in the fourth by netting four unanswered to seize control. Franks sparked a second rally by scoring two straight at the 13:17 and 6:47 marks before sophomore Shane Taylor (Archbishop Ryan) put the Pride ahead by finishing a pass from Tyler Schulte (Seneca-NJ) with under four minutes left.

Widener then won the key ensuing faceoff, called a timeout and gave itself insurance when Franks continued his career evening by finding the back of the net with 1:33 remaining. Lebanon Valley brought it down to a single possession again on a Kevin Beaver tally at the 1:11 mark and won the next faceoff, but the Pride forced two turnovers on the Dutchmen’s next two possessions to hang on for the win.

Lebanon Valley, which only scored twice when the teams met at Leslie C. Quick Stadium earlier this season, started the game off red hot and found the back of the net three times while holding the hosts scoreless through one quarter of play. But by most notably winning the faceoff battle by a 10-1 margin in the first half, Widener was able to gain extra possessions to climb back into the game with Franks leading the way.

Trailing 5-4 early in the third, the Pride then took advantage of a 2-minute major for an illegal bodycheck to the head by scoring twice on the non-releasable penalty which would also prove to be the only infraction of the game. Schulte and junior Chris Drake each scored man-up goals to put the Pride ahead, and the hosts would eventually survive and advance with the one goal win.

Franks set two career highs by finishing with nine goals and eight points to lead the way for Widener, which outshot its opponent by a 41-30 count. Junior Anthony Paone (Central Bucks South) won 20 of his 26 faceoffs attempts and scooped up 13 ground balls, while junior John Ferguson (Springfield-Delco) caused four turnovers. Sophomore netminder Matt Horton (Emmaus) added nine saves.

Lebanon Valley was led by Beaver, who finished the game with four points on three goals and one assist. Coleman Wagner picked up five ground balls and caused a turnover, while Cameron Epple made 16 saves between the pipes.

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