Men's Lacrosse News & Highlights
May 03, 2013
Eagles Host Misericordia in MLAX Final
The top-seeded Eastern University Eagles (14-2) host the second-seeded Misericordia University Cougars (10-6)in the Freedom Championship on Saturday at 1:00 pm.
Eastern advanced to today’s game with a 12-3 win over King’s. Grant Ferguson scored four times and Will Johnson had two goals and two assists to pace the Eastern offense. Aaron Benz, however, was the star of the game for the Eagles. The senior goalie made 12 of his 20 saves in the first half to help the Eagles build a 5-0 lead at the intermission. Benz earned MAC Championship MOP Honors in last year's overtime win against Widener.
The Cougars needed nearly eight minutes of extra-time to slip past third-seeded DeSales on Wednesday night. Nicholas Santillo scored his team-best 27th goal of the year with 1:11 to play in the second overtime to earn a spot in the final. The Cougars led 7-5 going into the final period of regulation, but DeSales scored in the opening minute of the period and again with five seconds to play to send the game to overtime.
The Cougars are the only Freedom Conference team to hold a lead on the Eagles at any point this year. In the game between the two teams on April 20, Misericordia scored the first two goals and did not trail in the game until Ron Johnson scored with four minutes to play in the third quarter.
Misericordia answered with a goal before the Eagles took the lead for good on a man-down goal from Andy Jameson. Eastern won the game 11-9. Patrick Johnson had 20 saves in the cage as the Eagles had a 51-26 advantage in shots.
Misericordia has outscored league opponents 63-50. The Eagles have had just two games within single-digit differentials. They have scored 116 goals and given up just 38. This is the last game on Olson Field for this senior class. In their time at Eastern, they are 30-5, including a pair of championship game wins last year. Under second year head coach Kevin Wallace, the Eagles are 18-1 on Olson Field. The only blemish on that mark came earlier this year in a 12-11 loss to Gettysburg College. The Bullets were ranked 12th in the country at the time.
Misericordia last played here in the final regular season-game of the year in 2012. Eastern led 6-2 at halftime before notching ten unanswered goals in the second half for a 16-2 win. Matt Wagner and Zac Ivy each had five goals in the win. Ivy's one-handed effort early in the fourth quarter defied description.
The winner of the game will be crowned Freedom Conference Champion. As the league is technically a new league, the winner will not have an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will have to await the announcement of the field on Sunday night. There are five spots in the tournament reserved for teams that are either independent or in non-AQ conferences. With the growth of the sport and the addition of many conferences without a full compliment of teams, these Pool B bids are more of a challenge to get than ever. The Eagles will be under consideration regardless of today’s result, but a conference championship would bolster Eastern’s resumé.
Follow @EUEagles on Twitter or check Eastern’s athletic website www.goeasterneagles.com for up-to-date information.
Adults $5 Seniors $4 Students $2 Children Under 6 Free
Eastern University Student Development will pay the price of admission for any Current Eastern Student with ID.
Updated: Friday, 03 May 2013