May 1, 2011

Ticket Punched: Dickinson Heading Back to NCAAs; Beat Gettysburg

from press release

– The No. 6-ranked Dickinson College men's lacrosse team was taken to the wire by No. 17-ranked Gettysburg College, but persevered to capture the program's first Centennial Conference Championship, playing at home on Biddle Field. The Bullets made one final charge, but the Devils held for a 6-5 victory.

Until this season, the championship had been hosted by only two institutions. Washington College and Gettysburg had hosted every championship by virtue of claiming the conference's regular season title. The Red Devils remained unbeaten at home with the win, and went undefeated in conference play as well, earning the right to host with an 8-0 mark.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something... Red. That is one way to describe Sunday afternoon. No one got married, but the celebration might make some believe that someone did. The Bullets came in as the old, playing in every single conference title game in Centennial history. Dickinson College came in as the new, making its first title appearance and earning the right to borrow the Centennial Conference Championship trophy for the next year.

Much like a heavyweight title fight, the Red Devils and the Bullets were a little cautious as both sophomore goaltenders made it very apparent early on that there would not be many goals on the board this afternoon. Greg Hanley (Laurel Hollow, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) and J.T. McCook each opened with five saves in the opening quarter, each allowing a goal to end the period tied, 1-1.

The Devils outscored Gettysburg, 3-1 in the second period, capitalizing on a pair of Bullet penalties as Brian Gleason (Darien, Conn./Darien) finished a Christian Beitel (Newtown, Conn./Newtown) assist and then fed Bobby Kingsley (Bethesda, Md./St. Alban's) for his second tally of the game.

Beitel gave the Devils a two-goal advantage at halftime, scoring unassisted at the 6:14 mark of the second quarter to give Dickinson a 4-2 lead at the break.

Out of the break, the Red Devils went to sophomore Matt Cherry (Radnor, Pa./Radnor) to give Dickinson a three-goal advantage with 12:35 on the clock in the third period.

Solid defense shut down the scoring, as did McCook with five stops in the third period. The Red Devil defense kept the Bullets in check in front of Hanley, who surrendered just two goals in the quarter to keep the Devils on top 6-4.

Hanley turned away eight shots in the fourth quarter, allowing just one goal in the first minute before shutting the gate.

Kingsley and Cherry each struck twice for the Devils with Beitel and Gleason each scoring once and handing out an assist.

Brandon Palladino (Basking Ridge, N.J./Basking Ridge) had another outstanding performance, recording a team-high six ground balls while causing four turnovers. Sophomore Peter Zouck (Baltimore, Md./Gilman) caused three turnovers and controlled five GBs while senior John Haire (Darien, Conn./Darien) and first-year Draper Donley (Lutherville, Md./St.Paul's) played shutdown roles on the Bullet attack.

Hanley finished with 16 saves on the day while McCook finished just shy of that with 15 on the day. Both goaltenders were spectacular throughout the game, leading to an incredibly exciting finish.

Nick Avedisian did all he could for the Bullets, winning 10-of-15 face-offs and controlling a game-high seven ground balls. Martin Manilla led the attack with a pair of goals.

Despite some intense competition, there were just three penalties whistled in the entire game.

The Bullets drop to 11-6 and will have to wait for a potential NCAA playoff berth. The Red Devils break the school record set last spring, winning their 16th game of the season. Dickinson improves to 16-1 overall. They earn the Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, announced next week.

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