Men's Lacrosse News & Highlights
February 20, 2013
Eagles Overcome Terror in Opener
ST. DAVIDS, Pa.- On a day most suited for hockey or bobsledding, Eastern University Men's Lacrosse opened the 2013 campaign with a 9-7 non-league win over McDaniel College. San Diego native Zac Ivy scored twice and added three assists. After falling behind 70 seconds into the contest, Eagles tied the game at 1-1 on Ivy's first of the day and did not trail again the rest of the way.
Ivy's first goal came from a tight angle after a solid offensive possession for the Eagles.
Eastern added to the lead on a great piece of transition attacking following a McDaniel Turnover. Shawn Farmer created the loose ball with a stout body check at the top of the box, and Brendon Stauber was in the right spot to pick up one of his eight ground balls. Stouber fired the ball forward and each of Eastern's three attackmen touched the ball in a three second sequence. Chris Farrar caught the ball and fired it to Ivy at the right edge of the crease. Ivy threw a quick shot fake to bring the goalie across the cage and flipped the ball to Grant Ferguson on the far side of the crease. Ferguson touched home his first of three on the day.
The visiting Green Terror tied the contest with 1:45 to play in the opening quarter, and the game was tied at 2-2 after 15 minutes. McDaniel had a 7-5 edge in first period shots.
The Eagles took advantage of a their first man-up situation of the afternoon when Ivy powered home an Eric Waibel pass for a 3-2 lead with just less than 10 minutes to play in the half. Two minutes later, the Terror evened the score at 3-3 before Waibel responded with his first of two on the afternoon to put the Eagles back up going into the half.
McDaniel scored on its second man-up chance of the afternoon to tie the game early in second half, but the Eagles answered just over a minute later with a highlight-reel goal. Farrar found Ferguson on the doorstep, and the Rochester, N.Y. native threw a lightning-quick series of fakes to move the goalie before dropping in his second of the day. Waibel scored his second of the afternoon off another Ivy pass to give the Eagles a two-goal lead at the end of the third quarter.
The final quarter started perfectly for the Eagles. AJ Ryan won the faceoff and Brendan Stouber controlled the ground ball. Stouber flipped the ball to Ryan who fired a pass to Farmer for a turnaround shot off the left post for a 7-4 lead.
It looked like the Eagles were going to have a chance to ice the game up three goals when Jordan Norris picked up ground ball off the post and returned the pass back to Aaron Benz. The Terror forced a turnover and took advantage of a quick restart to close the gap to 7-5. To make matters worse for the Eagles, the Terror picked up possession and a man-up chance on a a foul by Norris.
The man-down unit got a save from Benz and killed the penalty, and it seemed that the Eagles would stretch the lead back to three goals when Ivy wheeled and fired a left-handed overhead shot from close range off the inside of the right pipe. His shot appeared to cross the goal line and hit the other pipe on its way out, but the referee on the spot ruled that the ball had not crossed the line.
Terror goalie Christian Dallmus smothered the ball in the circle, and McDaniel was able to complete the clear. William Clary scored his second of the afternoon to close the gap back to a single tally at 7-6 with 8:36 on the clock.
The Eagles lost the ensuing draw, but Ron Johnson popped the ball free from a Terror attackman to give the Eagles possession again. Johnson forced four turnovers on the afternoon. Though the Eagles executed a clear, the work was not yet done, as the ball popped free just after entering the box. Sophomore midfielder Andrew Travers dug out the ground ball against several McDaniel defenders to keep the possession alive for the Eagles. The ball found its way behind the goal to Farrar, and the senior attackman found a streaking Ferguson in front of the goal. After scoring with finesse on his first two, Ferguson used power on his final goal of the afternoon. Farrar now has 54 career assists.
The Eastern excitement, however, was short-lived. Ryan Gillen won the faceoff for the Terror and flipped the ball to James Gibbons. Gibbons drew the defense to the right side and found Pat Woglom all alone on the doorstep for his third of the day.
Up a single goal with less than four minutes to play, the Eagles needed a big play from their defense, and they got one from Tyler Gehlhaus. The first-year defender pried a ball loose with a good stick check and picked up the ground ball to give his team possession. The Eagles were able to clear the zone and get a timeout with three minutes to play in the game.
After a series of passes, Eastern was put on the timer and had to go to goal. Will Johnson battled to get the ball behind the goal and found Ivy. Ivy looked like he was going to roll to the cage, but instead flipped a pass to Matt Soldano ten yards out. Soldano fired a shot just under the crossbar to put the Eagles up two goals with two minutes to play.
"Our leadership came through today," Head Coach Kevin Wallace said after the game, "Ivy made plays, that last goal by Soldano was a huge play, and I felt like our older guys helped us to keep our composure. We will need to build on that."
It is the fourth five-point day of Ivy's career. The senior attackman had a very memorable six-point day against Misericordia last spring, and he had two five goal games in his freshman campaign. It is Ferguson's fourth career hat trick.
Benz made ten saves to pick up his 31st career win.
The Eagles lost 8-6 at McDaniel last season.
The result today could prove to be an important one for the Eagles, who will need to build a better resume than all the other Pool B schools in order to gain entrance to the NCAA Tournament this year. The Eagles will still compete for a Freedom Conference Championship, but the league does not have an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. In that, every game becomes an important game in trying to convince the NCAA Tournament Committee that the Eagles deserve to return to the NCAA Tournament. As opposed to the Pool C or at-large bids to the tournament, there are Pool B bids reserved for teams in conferences without AQ's.
Eastern (1-0) returns to action on Saturday at home against Swarthmore.
Updated: Wednesday, 20 February 2013