Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/2/18
From Press Release
Matt Horton (Emmaus) made 16 saves including three in the final five minutes as the Widener University men’s lacrosse team advanced to the MAC Commonwealth Championship game with a 12-9 win against the Messiah Falcons on Wednesday night.
BY THE NUMBERS
Five different players scored twice for Widener as Gavin Kirkwood, Kevin Kerby, Brady Franks, Nick DiIorio (Haverford High), and John Dunbar (Appoquinimink) each had two goals.
Robbie Johnston (Charter School of Wilmington) and Paz Gismondi (West Deptford-NJ) each found the back of the net once.
Gizmondi added four assists in the game.
Widener converted 3-of-7 extra man opportunities in the game.
John Ferguson (Springfield-Delco) had three caused turnovers and three ground balls.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The two teams traded goals in the first period with the Pride getting the opener from Franks and two from DiIorio to take a 3-2 lead at the end of 15 minutes.
The Falcons responded, scoring three in the first seven minutes of the second quarter to take their first lead of the game.
Undeterred, the Blue and Gold bounced back. Johnston netted his first goal of the game at the 6:12 mark of the frame followed by Kerby two minutes later to tie the contest.
The final two goals of the half went to Kirkwood 1:04 apart as Widener took a 7-5 lead into the halftime. Opening the third stanza, Gizmondi scored at the 11:25 mark.
Messiah battled back, scoring two in a row to chop the lead to 8-7 with 5:23 left in the quarter.
The score stayed that way for the next five minutes before Franks found rope to push the lead to 9-7. With one second left in the third, Kerby took a feed from Franks in the middle and just beat the buzzer, making it a three-goal game entering the final period of play.
Not going away, Messiah scored twice in the first four minutes of the fourth to chop the lead to a single goal with 10:40 to go.
With momentum building for the Falcons, Widener was assessed a two-minute penalty. The Pride battled and killed off the EMO with Horton making a pair of saves. On the subsequent clear, the Blue and Gold drew a penalty and scored on the man-up as Dunbar ripped a shot on a feed from Gizmondi.
Less than two minutes later on another extra-man opportunity, the two linked up again to extend the advantage to 12-9 at the 6:44 mark.
Horton then stepped up again, turning aside Messiah’s final push to preserve the victory.
The Pride will now play Stevenson for the MAC Commonwealth Championship on Saturday, May 5. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.