MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Trailing 3-2 at halftime, the ninth-ranked Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team rallied in the second half to defeat No. 8 Cabrini on Jackson Field Saturday afternoon, 12-7, in the third round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championships.
With the win, the Cardinals (16-3) advance to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season and will face No. 6 Tufts (18-1) on Wednesday, May 16 for the third time this year. The Cavaliers, who were led by Jordan Krug's five points (1g, 4a), finish the season with a 17-3 record.
- It was all Cabrini in the first 15 minutes of play as the Cavaliers held the ball for the majority of the quarter. They outshot Wesleyan, 19-3, but scored just once while keeping the Cardinals off the board.
- Early in the second quarter, Carter Hawthorne '19 connected with Christian Barker '19 for Wesleyan's first score at the 13:31 mark.
- Cabrini rallied with back-to-back goals from Timmy Brooks (12:59) and Nicholas Waligurski (10:02) to hold a 3-1 lead, but in the closing minutes of the half, Ronan Jacoby '21 took advantage of a man-up opportunity as he found the back of the net with just 1:13 on the clock to cut the deficit to one at the break.
- It was a different story in the second half as Wesleyan's offense came alive, scoring five goals in both the third and fourth quarters.
- Jacoby started things off with a score just 35 seconds in the third quarter. Consecutive goals by the Cavaliers increased their lead back to two with 8:09 remaining, but Wesleyan closed out the third with four consecutive goals from four different players. Jacoby tied the game at 5-5 at the 6:30 mark and Hawthorne gave the home team its first lead of the game under a minute later.
- The Cardinals continued their run in the fourth and scored goals at the 13:40 and 11:45 marks by Stanton and Scott Irwin '19, respectively. Irwin's goal capped off a 6-0 Wesleyan run as the home squad took a 9-5 lead early in the fourth.
- A two-minute un-releasable penalty by Wesleyan helped Cabrini score back-to-back goals less than 30 seconds apart. After another Cardinal penalty saw the home team down two players for 49 seconds, sophomore goalie Otto Bohan made a huge save and Wesleyan regained possession, eventually killing off a crucial penalty.
- With 7:29 on the clock, a trick play by the Cardinals fooled Cabrini's defense as Stanton scored easily.
- Wesleyan scored the final three goals of the game en route to the 12-7 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Wesleyan was led offensively by Barker (2g, 2a), Stanton (3g), Jacoby (3g), Hawthorne (2g, 1a) and Taylor Ghesquiere '18 (1g, 1a). Defensively, Andres Rodriguez '18 was excellent for the Cardinals as he caused four turnovers and picked up four ground balls. Zach Zavalick '20 had a game-high nine ground balls and was stellar on faceoffs once again, winning 12-of-18, while Bohan picked up his 14th win with seven saves.
- Brooks led the Cavaliers with two goals while Mike Gerzabek, Waligurski, Zack Gregory and Jake Klein each found the back of the net. Riley White made nine saves on 20 shots he faced, and Tommy DeLuca and Bobby Cressman caused four and three turnovers, respectively.
- Cabrini outshot Wesleyan, 46-32, while the Cardinals held a 37-28 edge in ground balls. Both teams were 2-for-4 on man-up opportunities.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Wesleyan has now advanced to the quarterfinals in all six of its NCAA Tournament appearances.
- The Cardinals' dominance at home continues as they have now won 24 of their last 25 home games dating back to 2016.
- Saturday's game was the first-ever meeting between Wesleyan and Cabrini.