February 19, 2011

Thiel Wins Inaugural Game Over PS-Abington

from press release

GREENVILLE, Pa. — It didn't take long for coach Shem Johnston-Bloom and the Thiel men's lacrosse team to get in the win column, as the Tomcats rolled to a 16-4 victory over visiting Penn State Abington on Saturday in the first-ever lacrosse game at Thiel College.

Playing the first NCAA game of any sport in the Rissell Schreyer Dome, Thiel scored seven first-period goals and led 10-2 at halftime. The Tomcats added five goals in the third quarter and one more in the fourth to move to 1-0 this season.

Junior Andrew Shaver (Liverpool, N.Y., West Genesee) and freshman Francis Ahia (Penn Hills, Pa., Penn Hills) fueled the blowout for the Tomcats. Ahia had five assists and two goals while also giving his team an advantage with an excellent performance in faceoffs, He won 12 of his 13 faceoffs, helping Thiel win 17 of 22 faceoffs in the game. Shaver, one of the few upperclassmen for the first-year program, scored six goals, including the team's first 1:35 into the game.

Ahia assisted on three of Shaver's goals and set up two of Eddie Palmer's three scores. His two goals were spaced out with one coming in the first quarter and the second in the third quarter.

Cameron Rako (Hudson, Ohio, Hudson) scored two goals, recorded two assists and had seven groundballs for Thiel. Taylor Zain (Pickerington, Ohio, Pickerington North), Benji Emile (Brooklyn, N.Y., Midwood ) and Yancey Burks (Bowling Green, Ky., Greenwood ) added one goal apiece. Brett Keppler (Alvaton, Ky., Greenwood) and Burks each tallied two assists. Zain added one assist.

Goalie Richard Cannon (Allison Park, Pa., Shaler Area) was solid in net for Thiel with eight saves on 11 shots on goal to register his first collegiate win. He allowed just one goal in each of the first three quarters.

Isai Colocho (Orlando, Fla., Timber Creek), who is one of three captains on the team in addition to Taylor Zain (Pickerington, Ohio, Pickerington North) and Taylor Taylor Hayes (Bethel Park, Pa., Bethel Park), had five groundballs. Contributing with four groundballs apiece were Kaleb Rose (Bowling Green, Ky., Greenwood), Ryan Paga (Canonsburg, Pa., Canon-Mcmillan), Joseph Moralez (Lewisburg, Pa., Lewisburg) and Burks. As a team, Thiel held a 56-28 advantage in that category.

Justin O'Brien scored two goals on 13 shots for the Nittany Lions. Ryan Mawhinney and Pat Gillespie each added one goal.

After picking up its first win and its first win on its home field, Thiel will try to notch its first-ever win on the road when it travels to play Albion on Saturday.

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