Men's Lacrosse News & Highlights
May 07, 2014
Eagles Exit Tourney After Battle With Shoremen
The Eagles tied the game at 4-4 in the start of the second half, but the Washington College Shoremen pulled away to claim a 13-6 win.
Eastern junior Grant Ferguson scored a team-high of two goals, senior Andy Jameson added a goal and two assists. Eric Waibel, Andrew Travers and Kyle Gillam also scored. In goal, senior Pat Groschan recorded 13 saves.
Eagles' head coach Kevin Wallace said that he was proud of the way his team played against a perennial power like Washington. The Eagles, playing in the program's second NCAA tournament game, had a tough challenge against the Shoremen who were in the tournament for the 31st time.
"We came out and battled," Wallace said. "We knew we belonged here and wanted to prove we could belong here. They're a really good team. I give them a ton of credit. They've got a ton of really good athletes. They're No. 5 in the country for a reason. We hung tight with them for a long time and then ran out of gas, lost some steam."
The Eagles struck first, scoring with 13:09 on the clock in the first quarter. Senior Andy Jameson found junior Andrew Travers in front of the net for the first goal of the game. The Shoremen responded with a goal with 9:38 to play in the first, but neither team found the cage the rest of the quarter.
An Eastern penalty at the end of the first allowed Washington to start the second quarter man-up and the Shoremen scored 12 seconds into the quarter. The Eagles came right back at the Shoremen 45 seconds later with Eric Waibel feeding Jameson off the right post for the finish, tying the game at 2-2.
The Shoremen tallied a pair of unassisted goals to go up 4-2 midway through the second. Eastern’s Grant Ferguson ripped his 61st goal of the year with 3:41 to play before halftime, assisted by Darling. The assist was Darling’s 53rd of the year. Ferguson finished the game with two goals, netting his 62nd goal at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Eagles, leading the nation in man-up efficiency this season, had a chance with 1:39 left in the first half up two men for 30 seconds, but couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Another Shoremen penalty right before halftime gave Eastern a man-up chance to start the second half, and they quickly took advantage of that. Ferguson found Kyle Gillam who buried a shot nine seconds into the half to tie the game at 4-4.
After two more Shoremen goals, the Eagles hit their second man-up goal of the game with Eric Waibel finishing a laser of a shot with 10:53 to go.
The Shoremen, who had controlled possession the majority of the night, continued to do so the rest of the third and fourth quarter and peppered Eastern’s defense with shots. The Shoremen took 29 shots in the second half to the Eagles’ 14, and overall, out-shot the Eagles 61-31. Washington College went on to out-score Eastern 7-1 in the game’s final 25 minutes.
Coach Wallace commented that he thought it was good that the Eagles only allowed 13 goals after facing that many shots. “We played a lot of defense,” he said. “Groschan stood on his head and made a ton of saves. We forced him to make a lot of saves, unfortunately. He’s waited his whole life for this year and he did a great job. He’s a first team all-conference guy and proved he could play with the best of them.”
Groschan is one of eight seniors who wrapped up their careers on Wednesday along with Shawn Farmer, Andy Jameson, Dana Hinton, Brian Andersen, Billy Schwartz, Ky Allen and JC Hofmeister. Coach Wallace praised them for their hard work and leadership. “These seniors have laid the groundwork for everybody else going forward,” he said. In the past four years, the Eagles have won 52 games together, won three conference championships and made two NCAA tournament appearances.
Coach Wallace mentioned a couple times after the game that this Eagles’ squad is like a family to him and that they’re going to continue to grow together. “I’ll take this family over anybody any day of the week,” he said. "They’re a great group of guys, and we’re going to continue to learn how to believe in each other. We’re ready to compete with whomever and now it’s about taking that next step."
The Eagles finish the 2014 season with a 14-5 record.
Updated: Wednesday, 07 May 2014