Men's Lacrosse News & Highlights
March 16, 2013
Eagles' Depth Overwhelms Wesley
Forty-one Eastern players contributed as the Eagles (5-1) wore down the visiting Wolverines (3-3) in a game that saw rain, snow, and ,in stretches, penalty flags falling from the sky.
Senior midfielder Will Johnson opened the scoring five minutes into the game on a pass from Matt Soldano. Johnson finished with a goal and two assists and Soldano had three helpers. Four minutes later, Wesley tied the score on a strange play at the edge of the crease. Eastern goalie Aaron Benz made a play to pick off a centering pass, and in the tight space around the front of the goal, the ball popped out of his stick. James Moss was there for the visitors, and he popped in his first of two on the day to tie the score.
Grant Ferguson scored on a nice pass from Kyle Lansey in transition to put the Eagles up with two and a half minutes to play, and Soldano found Chris Farrar in transition just before the end of the period for a 3-1 Eastern lead. Wesely had more shots than the Eagles in the first period, but Benz made five saves to keep the Eagles up. The senior goalie recorded 16 stops in 45 minutes of action.
Farrar hammered home a 15-yard effort from Ferguson for his second of the day to put the Eagles up 4-1 with ten minutes to go in the half. Five minutes later Farrar picked up his second helper of the afternoon on a pass to Kyle Gillam in front of the goal. Gillam scored in both games this weekend.
Farrar finished the day with three goals and three assists. The senior attackman has 81 career goals and 64 career assists. He is now seven goals, 13 assists, and 14 points from leading all three career categories.
Moss scored his second with 3:43 left in the half to close the gap to 5-2. Seconds later, Ferguson put the Eagles up four with a rebound shot after Will Johnson's shot came off the chest protector of Wesley goalkeeper Matt Ryan.
Ferguson opened the scoring in the second half on a similar play. He caught a ball on the crease and fired a shot that Ryan lunged to save. The ground ball came out into the scoring zone and Ferguson pulled it free and finished for his third of the day. The sophomore attackman would add two more goals to bring his season total to 20.
The Eagles moved the ball with the 7-2 lead and were looking to find scoring chances when the game turned for the worse. Last year's match-up in Virginia Beach had over 22 minutes in penalties, but through the first 40 minutes, there was only a single 30 second holding penalty. That all changed in the final four minutes of the third period.
A cross-check put the Eastern Extra-man unit onto the field, and Eric Waibel fired home his first of the day before taking a late hit which created another extra-man chance. With the Eagles already up a man, two more flags flew on Wesley. Before those penalties could be enforced, Farrar had finished his hat trick on another pass from Ferguson.
The Wolverine man-down unit held the Eagles for the first of the two penalties, but only by committing another slash. Zac Ivy dropped in his first of the day on the two-man advantage situation for a 10-2 edge at the end of three periods.
The fourth period had no sooner started than another two flags were in the air. Johnson found Ferguson for another extra-man goal only 12 seconds into the extra-man opportunity. The Eastern offense scored two even strength goals to push the differential to 13-2.
After only having one minute of penalty time through the first 55 minutes of action, the Eagles picked up three penalties on one play to give the Wolverines a three-man advantage for a full minute. While it is not a special situations unit that gets a lot of practice, Eastern's three-man down unit of Travis Park, Mark Cyron, and Ky Allen forced a shot from outside that Nick DiPiano saved. Allen ran with the clear for several seconds in the defensive half and Cody Ridgeway completed the clear with another eight seconds of running.
DiPiano made three saves in the final seven and a half minutes of the fourth period after relieving Patt Groschan. Graschan made two stops in his time in the cage.
DiPiano set up the final goal of the day with a long clearing pass to JC Hofmeister. Hofmeister found Ridgeway on the doorstep for a 14-2 final.
The Eagles play at Ursinus on Tuesday night in another important test.Box Score
Updated: Saturday, 16 March 2013