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Widener to host Lebanon Valley tonight in MAC Commonwealth playoff

Monday, 1st May 2017

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/1/17
From Press Release

Following a strong regular season, the Widener University men’s lacrosse team will look to capture its 15th Middle Atlantic Conference title at this week’s postseason tournament.

The Pride have been a staple in the field and will look to win their first crown since 2012 with a roster consisting of a blend of veterans and newcomers. The Pride earned the fourth seed and will host fifth-seeded Lebanon Valley tonight at 7:00 p.m.

The winner will advance to face nationally-ranked Stevenson on the road in one of two semifinal games on Wednesday for the right to play for the championship on Saturday. The winner of the championship game will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Tournament.

Widener (8-7, MAC Commonwealth 5-3), which has faced a challenging schedule that has included three opponents which have been nationally ranked this season, is headlined by senior Tyler Schulte (Seneca-NJ) and junior Chris Drake up front. Schulte has registered 44 points on 36 goals and eight assists, while Drake nearly mirrors the senior on his stat line with 35 markers and eight helpers to date. Freshman Paz Gismondi (West Deptford-NJ) has been the team’s top setup man with 20 assists, and junior Anthony Paone (Central Bucks South) has helped create extra scoring opportunities by winning 66.2 percent of his faceoffs against conference opponents. Shane Taylor (Archbishop Ryan) has 17 goals and 12 assists.

Junior defender John Ferguson (Springfield-Delco) and sophomore netminder Matt Horton (Emmaus) lead a back line which has yielded just over 10 goals per contest. Horton, a USILA Preseason All-American, enters the tournament with a 9.56 goals against average to go along with a .552 save percentage. He has also reached double-digit saves in 10 contests this season. Ferguson, meanwhile, heads into the tournament with 43 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers to his credit.

Lebanon Valley (9-7, MAC Commonwealth 3-5) narrowly made the tournament field by winning a three-way tiebreaker for the final spot over Lycoming and Arcadia based on goal differential. The Dutchmen, who fell to the Pride by an 8-2 decision when the teams met at Leslie C. Quick Stadium, is offensively led by Klayton Garman. The senior has racked up 57 points on 39 goals and 18 assists to date. On the defensive end, sophomore goalie Cameron Epple has turned away a conference-best 61.5 percent of the shots he has faced against MAC Commonwealth opponents and junior Coleman Wagner leads the squad in both ground balls (58) and caused turnovers.

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