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Wesleyan Rallies Late to Defeat Western New England in NCAA Second Round, 11-8

Photo by Steve McLaughlin
Photo by Steve McLaughlin

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Christian Barker, Carter Hawthorne, and Ronan Jacoby each scored three goals for the 10th-ranked Wesleyan men's lacrosse team as the Cardinals rallied down the stretch to defeat Western New England in the Second Round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Championships Wednesday night, 11-8.

Barker and Hawthorne also recorded two assists each, and Jacoby tallied one himself, as Wesleyan improved to 13-3 and advanced to the third round of the tournament for the third-straight season. The Cardinals will head to Amherst, Mass. to face NESCAC and Little Three rival, No. 7 Amherst, on Saturday, May 11 at 1 p.m. Western New England, the Commonwealth Coast Conference champions, concludes its season with a 14-6 overall mark. Jared Ward led the way for the Golden Bears Wednesday night at Jackson Field as he scored four points on two goals and two assists.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Wesleyan came out hot to start the game, scoring three unanswered goals in the first four minutes of play, before closing out a 4-0 run on a goal from Hawthorne at the 5:59 mark.
  • The Golden Bears got on the board just over a minute later as Ward found Mike Bannon in front of the net. Shortly after, the Golden Bears made their way down the field quickly as Bannon dished it off to John Shahpazian, who only had the goalie to beat, as he cut the deficit to two with 2:27 left to play in the first.
  • The second quarter featured a defensive battle as the visitors held Wesleyan scoreless. Shahpazian scored the only goal, at the 13:58 mark, and the Cardinals would go on to lead 4-3 at the break.
  • Zander Kotsen snapped Wesleyan's scoreless stretch at the 10:42 mark of the third quarter to extend the lead to two.
  • However, the Golden Bears rallied with three goals in a span of two minutes, 35 seconds. With 7:24 left to play in the third, Conor Tracy put the visitors on top for the first time as his shot went just inside the right post.
  • The lead was short-lived, however, as the Cardinals closed out the third on a 3-0 run. Barker scored back-to-back goals at the 6:14 and 2:16 marks, and Jacoby sent one to the bottom left corner to make it 8-6 with 1:27 on the clock.
  • In the opening seconds of the fourth, a shot from Hawthorne hit the crossbar and Jacoby picked it up and sent it to the back of the net. Shortly after, Hawthorne scored to cap off a 5-0 run as the Cardinals pulled ahead, 10-6.
  • Wesleyan held Western New England to two goals the rest of the way and Jacoby found the back of the net at the 7:27 mark as the home team prevailed, 11-8.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Six different players scored a point for Wesleyan. Defensively, Corey Aviles, Thomas Clejan, Colin Malarchuk, and Mitchell Patton led the way with two caused turnovers each, and goalie Otto Bohan made 13 saves in net. Bohan also led the team with seven ground balls.
  • Seven players recorded a point for the Golden Bears, while Ward, Brendan Lyons, and Josh Salem each caused a turnover. Goalie Sean McCusker made 15 stops between the posts.
  • Wesleyan outshot Western New England 41-34 and turned the ball over just 12 times compared to 21 for the Golden Bears.