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NCAA men’s D3 tourney: Cabrini uses strong second half to down Grove City, 21-11

Saturday, 15th May 2021

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/15/21
From Press Release

For the fifth consecutive season, the Cabrini men’s lacrosse team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament as the Cavaliers earned a 21-11 win over Grove City in today’s opening round of the Division III Tournament.

The Cavaliers (11-2) get a tough reward – a second-round match, at home, with No. 2 Salisbury, a 30-3 winner over SUNY-Poly in the first game of the doubleheader at Cabrini. The teams will meet at 2 p.m.

The Blue and White grabbed an early lead, as senior Matt LoParo and sophomore Jake Huey (Marple Newtown) scored two goals in a span of five seconds early the game. Freshman Max Drift added a goal late in the opening period to give the Cavaliers a 3-0 lead.

The Wolverines (11-2) grabbed some momentum in the final 90 seconds of the quarter, as junior Addison Bennett put the visitors on the board.

Despite Cabrini extending its lead to 5-1 on goals by senior Mike Gerzabek (Springfield-Delco) and junior Kyle Tucker in the opening minutes of the second quarter, the game remained tight with the team’s combining for seven goals in the first five minutes of the stanza.

Grove City junior Brett Gladstone tallied four of his six goals in a three minute span, but it was the defensive combo of senior Tommy DeLuca and sophomore Zach Kaut (Penncrest) who made their impact felt on the offensive side to held Cabrini maintain its two goal cushion.

Trailing by two goals late in the second quarter, the Wolverines struck twice to even the score at 8-8 at the halftime break.

The Cavaliers took advantage of the 15 minute halftime break to refocus and it paid off in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Cabrini outshot its opponent 22-6 and pressured it into 11 turnovers in the period.

The pressure paid off, as the Blue and White posted six unanswered goals to seize control of the game. Drift and Tucker keyed the spurt with two goals each, while senior Ty Kostak (Marple Newtown) added a goal and an assist. Grove City snapped the run late in the frame, but found themselves looking up at a 14-10 deficit with just 15 minutes to play.

Cabrini erased any thought of a comeback early in the final period. Sophomore Huey won the opening faceoff and scored a goal just six seconds into the period before goals by LoParo, Kostack and Gerzabek pushed the lead to 18-10 with 9:34 to play.

Grove City briefly interrupted Cabrini’s scoring run but freshmen Austin Bolton and Bryan Rafferty (Bishop Shanahan) added to the lead before senior Casey Collins notched his first career goal.

After struggling to find its rhythm in the opening 30 minutes, the Cavaliers outshot Grove City 33-10, won 10 of 18 faceoffs and forced 16 turnovers in the second half.

LoParo led the Cavaliers’ attack with four goals and an assist, while Tucker and Drift paired three goals and a helper each. Gerzaberk joined Kostack, Huey and Rafferty with two goals each.

DeLuca anchored the defensive effort with three caused turnovers and five ground balls, while classmate Eric Carr (Academy of the New Church) caused a pair of miscues. Huey went 14-25 at the faceoff spot and secured a team high seven ground balls, three more than Drift and junior Evan Trizonis (Garnet Valley).

Freshman goaltender Rob Pensabene won his second consecutive start after recording five saves.

The Cavaliers had few answers for Gladstone, who finished with a game high six goals. Junior Grant Evans went 18-34 at the faceoff x and earned game high honors with 14 ground balls. Sophomore goaltender Jack Petit suffered the loss despite recording 14 saves.

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