April 29, 2014

DeSales Bests Kings In Four Overtimes

from press release

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Senior James Guerrier took a pass on the right wing from junior Nate Blevins and fired a shot high over the King's College goalkeeper shoulder with 1:22 left in the fourth overtime giving the DeSales University men's lacrosse team its first-ever playoff win, 9-8, over the Monarchs.

DSU (6-10) now advances to the Freedom Conference Championship game where it will take on top seeded Eastern University, a 21-10 winner over FDU-Florham in the other semifinal on Tuesday afternoon. This was DeSales' third career playoff game with the other two coming in 2009, a 9-2 loss at Elizabethtown, and last year an 8-7 loss at Misericordia in double overtime.

This game was an instant classic despite poor weather conditions. The Bulldogs dominated the first half scoring the first goal of the game just 1:01 into the contest and then taking a 4-1 lead with three goals in the span of 52 seconds with under a minute to play in the first quarter.

KC fought back scoring twice to open the second quarter and trimming the deficit down to 4-3 before DSU got a man-up goal from senior Jacob Bernier with 2:47 left and another goal from junior Lance Bracale with 29 ticks left to give the Bulldogs a 6-3 halftime edge.

King's took control of the game in the second-half out-scoring DSU 3-2 in third quarter and then dominating the fourth quarter to tie the game at eight.

In the first overtime, King's was caught with too many men in the offensive half of the field right after the face-off but DSU couldn't take advantage. Sophomore Matt Warnken, who a brick wall in all four overtime periods, made a big save with 27 seconds left to send the game into a second OT.

In the second OT, Warnken again made a big save early in the extra period and late in the period Bernier had a golden opportunity to end the game with a clear path to the net off a turnover from the Monarchs but his shot went left of the cage as time expired.

In the third OT, Warnken made two big saves as King's dominated possession but couldn't find the game-winner. In the fourth OT, junior Dylan Baxter had a chance to win it in transition after another big save from Warnken but his shot caromed off a Monarch helmet and out of bounds. DSU retained possession and after working the ball around for just over a minute Guerrier found the back of the net for the game-winner.

Guerrier finished with two goals and two assists to lead the scoring attack. Bernier and Bracale each added two goals and Blevins had one goal and one assist. Freshman Justin Wilson and senior Ben Krocheski each had goals with junior Ryan Loughlin totaling two assists and Baxter added one helper.

Warnken stood on his head the entire game but especially in OT making five of his 14 saves in the overtime periods. Baxter finished with 11 face-off wins and six ground balls and sophomore Tim Barry had three caused turnovers and four ground balls.

Game time for Saturday's Freedom Conference Championship game is set for 1:00 pm at Eastern.

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