May 15, 2009

Gettysburg Eyes Third Title Game Trip

from press release

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Seeking to reach the national championship game for the third time in program history, No. 5 Gettysburg visits No. 1 Stevenson University in the NCAA Division III semifinals on Sunday.

The Bullets (15-3) will take on the Mustangs (17-1) at 1 p.m. at Stevenson's Cave Athletics Complex. The winner of the game advances to the NCAA Division III national championship game, to be played on Sunday, May 24 at Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL's New England Patriot and the MLS's New England Revolution , in Foxborough, Mass.

Ticket prices for Sunday's game are $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens, and $1 for children ages 3-12. Children under 3 are admitted for free.

Gettysburg, which is riding a 13-game winning streak, reached the semifinals with its 13-8 quarterfinal victory over No. 14 Denison University on Wednesday while Stevenson topped No. 2 Salisbury University 11-9.

The Bullets are making their third straight appearance and eighth overall in the NCAA semifinals. Gettysburg is 2-5 all-time in the Final Four and has lost to Salisbury University in each of the past two semis. The Bullets recorded their two semifinal wins in 2001 and 2002.

Sunday's game will mark just the third meeting all-time between the two teams. Stevenson defeated Gettysburg 16-6 in Stevenson when the two teams met earlier this season, and the Bullets claimed a 10-9 decision in the teams' inaugural meeting in Gettysburg last year.

After a down-to-the-wire, 9-8 Centennial Conference semifinal victory over Washington (Md.) College in the team's postseason opener, the Bullets have been on cruise control, outscoring their opponents 40-23 in their ensuing three games.

Gettysburg has been led by junior Kyle McGrath (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) during the postseason, leading the team with 11 goals over four playoff games. McGrath has also scored a team-leading seven goals in the Bullets two NCAA games. Dating back to last season, McGrath has scored 21 goals in nine postseason games, including 13 in five NCAA contests.

Junior Josh Reichert (Englewood, Colo./Kent School), who ranks second on the team with 31 goals for the season, has also shined in the playoffs, notching 10 tallies. Five of his six NCAA playoff goals came in the team's 15-10 second-round victory over Washington & Lee University on Saturday.

For the season, junior Joe Brody (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) leads the team in scoring with 49 points on 19 goals and a team-leading 30 assists. Senior Zach Pucci (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) has posted a team-best 32 goals to go with 16 assists for 48 points. McGrath has piled up 26 goals while Centennial Conference Player of the Year, senior Tom O'Donnell (Montgomeryville, Pa./La Salle College), has contributed 33 points on 17 goals and 16 assists.

Senior Zach Furshman (Miami, Fla./Kent School [Conn.]) has played every minute of every game in the postseason between the pipes for Gettysburg and has posted a 7.75 goals-against average and a .483 save percentage.

Stevenson survived a late rally against Salisbury to punch its ticket to the NCAA semifinals. A 5-0 run in the third quarter gave the Mustangs a commanding 10-5 lead, although the Sea Gulls pulled to within two with 1:36 left. Junior Steve Kazimer and sophomore Jimmy Dailey finished with one goal and three assists apiece while senior Brett Yoder scored three goals.

The Capital Athletic Conference runner-up, Stevenson ranks sixth in Division III in scoring defense (6.61 GAA), thanks in large part to the play of junior goalie Geoff Hebert, who is fourth in the nation with his 6.73 GAA. Kazimer has notched 32 goals and 34 assists for 66 points while Dailey has posted 29 goals and a team-leading 37 assists, also for 66 points. Junior Richie Ford leads the team with 41 goals. Other scoring threats include senior Greg Furshman (23 goals) and Yoder (21 goals).

Sunday's game will feature a unique storyline with brothers Greg and Zach Furshman facing off on opposite sides.

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