April 29, 2014

Lycoming Rallies Past Messiah, Stevenson Next

from press release

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Down two goals with 43 seconds left in the third quarter, the fourth-seeded Lycoming College rallied with the final three goals of the game, as junior Sean Reilly (Corning, N.Y./Corning-Painted Post West) ripped a shot into the upper right netting to secure the team's 8-7 win over Messiah College in the first round of the Commonwealth Conference Tournament at the Shangraw Athletic Complex on a rain-soaked Tuesday, April 29.

The Warriors (7-9 overall) will move on to play top-seeded and third-ranked Stevenson on Thursday, May 1 at 7 p.m. at Stevenson's Mustang Stadium.

Messiah (7-9 overall) capped a 6-1 run with 43 seconds left in the half when Will Franken scored to make it 7-5. The Warriors won the ensuing faceoff, though, when the ball was kicked out of the neutral zone and into the stick of sophomore Mike Cooper (Riva, Md./Archbishop Spalding). The Warriors quickly set up an offense, with senior Matt McCaffer (Marcellus, N.Y./Marcellus) getting the ball behind the net before wrapping around and stuffing a shot in to make it 7-6 heading into the fourth quarter.

Messiah continued to dominate at the faceoff line, winning 16-of-19 in the game, early in the fourth, but couldn't get more than a shot that fell into junior goalkeeper Alex Wylly's (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) stick, even after a failed clear. The Warriors cleared the ball with 12:29 left and after three shots, Reilly lifted a pass from behind the net to a leaping McCaffer for the game-tying score with 10:21 left.

The Warriors won the ensuing faceoff, but a turnover gave the ball back to Messiah. Wylly made two saves on the ensuing possession. Each team turned the ball over twice from there as the clock ran under five minutes. Finally, a pass rolled in front of the net for Messiah's Nate Nester, who flicked his stick as if to shoot, but the ball snapped backwards thanks to the wet conditions. Junior Joe Marchetti (Cortland, Homer) won the ground ball out of the ensuing scrum and the Warriors cleared the ball at the 4:19 mark.

Less than 30 seconds later, Reilly received a pass 20 yards out on the left side without a defender on his hip. He charged 10 yards in and fired a high shot just inside the post, giving the Warriors the lead. The waning minutes weren't without drama, as Messiah took four shots, the last a bullet from Drew Pagenkopf with 1:01 left that forced Wylly to make a stop neck high on a blast of a shot from 10 yards out.

The Warriors cleared the ball, though, used a timeout and ran the remaining minute off the clock to secure the program's first conference tournament win since a 16-5 win over Drew in the Middle Atlantic Conference Tournament's first round in 2005.

The Warriors started the game hot, taking a 2-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to goals from McCaffer and Cooper. After Messiah got on the board with 13:51 left in the second quarter, the Warriors continued to take advantage on offense, with McCaffer and sophomore Lee Pappas (New Windsor, Md./Glenelg Country School) finding the back of the net to give Lycoming a 4-1 lead.

However, Messiah scored with 1:26 left in the quarter and added another just 23 seconds later, taking momentum into the break and through the third quarter, as they scored four of the first five goals of that quarter to take a two-goal lead before the Warriors mounted their comeback.

McCaffer finished with four goals and an assist, becoming the fifth player in school history to reach 50 goals in a season in the process, to lead the Warriors. Reilly added two goals and an assist and Cooper posted a goal and an assist. Sophomore Jake Wanamaker (Waldwick, N.J./Waldwick) added two assists. Senior Jason Breau (Lima, N.Y./Honeyoye Falls-Lima) and sophomore Michael Wagner (Pasadena, Md./St. Mary's) each caused two turnovers and Wylly, junior Thomas Hanson (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills), Cooper and Marchetti each added three ground balls.

Andrew Harris led the Falcons with two goals and Nate Nester added a goal and an assist as six players scored in a balanced attack. Brady Marburger picked up 10 ground balls, winning 16-of-19 faceoffs and Chris Ruger posted three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

In net, Wylly (7-9) played stupendously, stopping eight shots to earn the win, as Messiah ripped 33 shots in the contest. Brooks Arnold (7-9) stopped five shots for the Falcons, as the Warriors fired 25 shots.

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