Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/26/19
Be 1-0 today.
From the day the Cabrini men’s lacrosse team ended the 2018 season, that has been the mantra.
Today, the Cavaliers lived their words and went 1-0 in the biggest game and on the biggest stage in the history of the program.
The Blue and White rallied to score a 16-12 victory over No. 7 Amherst College to win the University’s first ever NCAA championship in front of a boisterous crowd of nearly 19,000 mostly blue and white clad fans at Lincoln Financial Field. Cabrini closed the 2019 campaign with a program best 22-2 record and a 15-game win streak.
Sophomore Kyle Tucker was named championship game most valuable player after leading the Cavaliers with three goals and an assist. Senior Bill Morgan (Marple Newtown) matched Tucker with three goals.
Senior Jordan Krug (Cherokee) led all scorers with five points on two goals and three assists. With today’s output, Krug completed one of the best seasons in program history, setting a single season mark with 75 goals, while his 113 points rank second. The senior also established new standards with 355 career points, while his 233 goals are tied for the top spot.
Senior Timmy Brooks (Haverford School) and junior Tyler Kostack (Marple Newtown) added two goals each, while junior Mike Gerzabek (Springfield-Delco) notched two assists.
Senior goaltender Riley White (Plymouth Whitemarsh) posted 11 saves to anchor a defensive effort that held Amherst to just 16 second half shots. Junior Tommy DeLuca scooped a game-high five ground balls, while senior Sean Wagner paired three caused turnovers and three ground balls.
Sophomore Luke McCallion (Haverford High), who went 14-26 at the faceoff spot, joined juniors Robert Cressman (Berks Catholic) and Kyle Myers with four ground balls each.
The Mammoths (18-4) jumped out to an early lead, scoring two goals in the first five minutes of the game. Morgan put the Cavaliers on the board with an unassisted goal at the 8:34 mark.
Amherst regained its two goal cushion late in the frame, but Krug hit Wagner with 30 seconds left in the frame to pull the Blue and White to within 3-2 after the first quarter.
The Mammoths took advantage of a Cabrini flag, netting a man-up goal early in the second. Despite a goal by junior Kevin Leyden (Haverford High), Amherst pushed its lead to 6-3 with 8:55 left in the second.
The Blue and White never worried, taking just 62 seconds to climb back into the game. Kostack netted an unassisted tally at 8:20. Freshman Jake Huey (Marple Newtown) won the ensuing faceoff and scored his first career goals, before Krug’s unassisted tally at the 7:18 mark of the second quarter, evening the score at 6-6.
The scored remained tied through the halftime break until Amherst grabbed a one goal lead 65 seconds into the third. The Blue and White responded with back to back goals, as Morgan and Krug scored in a 38 second span to give Cabrini its first lead of the night at 8-7.
Both teams alternated goals, but with the score tied at 9-9, Cabrini began to pull away. Tucker and Kostack recorded unassisted goals to give the Blue and White 11-9 lead with less than two minutes left in the third.
Amherst got one of the goals back with just 61 seconds left in the stanza, as Cabrini went to the fourth quarter with a slim 11-10 lead.
The Blue and White wasted little time in the fourth quarter, essentially sealing the victory just two minutes into the final period.
Tucker completed his hat trick with an unassisted marker 59 seconds into the quarter. Brooks added the first of his two fourth quarter goals less than a minute later, converting a Krug pass into a man-up goal. McCallion won the ensuing faceoff, as Myles collected the loose ball and headed for the net.
The Mammoths looked to make a late comeback, but after an Amherst goal, Brooks turned a Gerzabek pass into his second goal in a span of 2:13 to maintain the four goal cushion.
Amherst still would not go away, pulling to within 15-12 with 8:32 to play. The Blue and White then turned to its defense to seal the victory.
The Mammoths recorded four shots over the next two minutes, with just one finding White. They would be Amherst’s final shots of the game, as Cabrini held its opponent without a shot over the final 6:44.
Matt Solberg had two goals and two assists for the Mammoths and Division III Player of the Year Evan Wolf (Lower Merion) had two goals and an assist while Jon Coffee (Lawrenceville School) and Jackson Herrick each scored twice. Jimmy McAfee (Germantown Academy) had six groundballs and Jack Norton (Radnor) scored once while defenseman Rod Castro (Radnor) had a groundballs and a caused turnover.
The Blue and White’s offense took advantage of its defensive effort, as Krug hit Morgan to push the Cabrini lead back to 16-12 with 3:32 to play.