Men's Lacrosse News & Highlights
April 26, 2014
Quick Start Propels Eagles to Top Seed
DeSales entered today’s game with a chance to snare the top seed from the Eagles with a win, but the defensive-minded Bulldogs saw their hopes dissipate quickly as the Eagles scored four times in the first five minutes. DeSales had allowed just over five goals per game in the league coming into today. The Eagles led 6-0 before the guests registered a shot with 77 seconds to play in the first quarter.
With the Bulldogs packed in a zone early, the Eagles drew an early "timer on" call. Tim Lamb finally found a soft spot in the zone and fed Andrew Travers with a low pass on the crease. Travers pushed in his 13th of the year for the 1-0 lead.
Darling then took his turn unlocking the Bulldog zone. He set up a cutting Andy Jameson for a goal with 12:18 left in the quarter and then found Lamb 45 seconds later. Darling picked up his third helper of the day two minutes later with another pinpoint feed to Jameson. With today’s prodigious output, Darling is one point shy of the single-season point mark and two assists short of the single season assist mark. Both those records were set by Chris Farrar in 2013.
Grant Ferguson set up Darling for the fifth goal of the game. Darling returned the favor 90 seconds later as Ferguson ripped home his first of five. He would finish with five goals and a season-best four assists for his first nine-point day since he opened the season with 10 points against Greensboro.
The Eastern momentum rolled through the opening half in large part due to the complete domination at the faceoff X. Joe Palo won 13-of-15 in the first half and 14-of-16 overall. Matt Lee, who led the conference in league faceoff-percentage actually saw his percentage fall slightly as he won 5-of-7 after the intermission.
A 6-0 lead at the quarter quickly grew to 11-0 as the Eagles tallied five times in two minutes and 10 seconds to leave no doubt. Dez Decker, Darling, Eric Waibel, Ferguson, and Blake Bennett each scored in the stretch.
The Bulldogs got on the board with seven minutes to play in the half. Eastern responded with a man-up goal from Kyle Gillam with five seconds to play in the half to build a 12-1 edge. The Eastern man-up unit tallied three goals in five attempts. The Eagles are the only Division III team in the country to score on over 60% of their man-up chances.
Eastern had a 33-3 edge in shots over the first half hour of action.
Ferguson set the first two goals of the second half and then buried another man-up goal from Darling. The first of those came from Matt Martin. He tucked home his second to the year 87 seconds into the period. The first-year attack was a high school teammate of Ferguson. Bryan Goetz scored his first of two for a 14-1 edge.
Goetz and Billy Schwartz scored the only two Eastern goals in the fourth quarter.
Pat Groschan made a pair of first-half stops to pick up the win. Nick DiPiano, Mark Orebiyi, and Austin Mutter split the second half in goal.
The Eagles will host FDU-Florham on Tuesday. The Devils earned the fourth seed with an 8-4 win over Arcadia today. King’s, who was idle today, became the third seed when the Devils won. Had Arcadia won, Misericordia would have been the third seed and King’s would have been left out.
Game time will be announced tomorrow.
Updated: Sunday, 27 April 2014