Men's Lacrosse News & Highlights
April 05, 2014
Eagles Push Past Devils
The two teams entered play with similar records against very different schedules. The Devils (6-5, 1-1 Freedom) were without a win against a team with a winning record, and the Eagles have been playing close games throughout the early season. From the first possession, the Eastern team seemed committed to not allowing the Devils to hang in the game.
FDU started the match face-guarding Grant Ferguson. Eastern's leading scorer, stepped out of the scoring area, and Eric Waibel found a cutting Andy Jameson running free to the crease. Jameson tucked home his eighth of the year for a 1-0 lead only seconds into the match. The Devils returned to a more standard zone, and the scoring slowed briefly.
Tim Lamb ripped a hard overhand shot to double the Eastern lead with 11:45 on the clock. Bryan Geotz then made it 3-0 on a transition goal following a good clear from Jordan Norris. Geotz led all Eastern scorers with three goals and an assist.
The Eagles then failed on their only man-up chance of the day when Waibel's shot from eight yards hit off the top pipe and flew to midfield. The Eagles recovered the ground ball, but not without a push, and the Devils ran out the penalty time. The Eagles entered action this afternoon leading the nation in man-up efficiency.
The missed opportunity did not undo the Eagles as they found another goal in transition. This time Shawn Farmer found Blake Bennett for his first of two goals. Bennett, a transition midfielder, entered the day with one goal for the season. Ferguson found Waibel for a 5-0 lead with five minutes to play. FDU did not have a shot in the first 14 minutes of the game.
The game then turned into a shooting gallery for the Eastern attackmen. The Eagles hit four pipes in the first quarter and FDU's Gerry Yotcoski made five saves. When FDU cleared the zone with a little over a minute to play in the period Lance O'Donovan caught the Eastern defense a little off guard with a drive down the right alley and a shot to the far post.
The Eagles, who jumped to an early lead at King's last Wednesday, and then gave up a run of goals to let the Monarchs back into the game, were committed not to make the same mistake today. FDU would get only one more shot in the half. By the midpoint, the Eagles had a 12-1 lead and a 43-2 edge in shots.
Joe Palo was again dominant at the faceoff X. He won all seven draws in the first period and went 6-of-8 in the second. Matt Lee was nearly as impressive in the second half. Lee was 10-of-12 against a variety of competitors for the Devils.
Desmond Decker, Dave Darling, Bennett, and Andrew Travers all scored in the second period before Ferguson finally got on the board. Ferguson's tally with 4:36 to play put the Eagles up 10-1. Darling and Geotz finished up the scoring in the half as Waibel picked up his second and third assists of the afternoon.
Nick DiPiano replaced Groschan in the goal for the third period and made four stops and did not allow a goal. The Eastern offense, meanwhile, kept finding new goal-scorers. Kyle Gillam scored his fifth of the year with nine minutes left. Fifty seconds later, JC Hofmeister tallied his third. Jamar Hall and Geotz scored before Brandon Hanley made it 17-1 with his first career tally. Hanley grabbed a feed from Hofmeister and fired a hard overhand shot that tagged the lower left corner.
Evan Werner scored his first two goals of the year to start the fourth period before the Devils got a goal from Ryan Berkenbush with eight minutes remaining. Matt Martin closed out the scoring for the Eagles with a highlight-reel dodging run for his first career tally.
While the Eastern offense impressed, the Eastern defense limited the top two scorers for the Devils to just one shot on goal each. Mark Cyron caused five turnovers and scooped up seven ground balls to lead the defensive stats. Mark Orebiyi allowed one goal and made four stops, and Austin Mutter finished the game in goal for the Eagles.
O'Donovan scored the final FDU goal of the game. Yotcoski finished with 19 saves.
The Eastern coaching staff was pleased with the focus of their team through the final three quarters of the game. Eastern travels to Arcadia University on Wednesday.
Updated: Saturday, 05 April 2014