May 2, 2012

Drexel Upsets Penn State to Move to CAA Final

from press release

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Brendan Glynn's third goal of the game broke an 11-11 tie with 2:36 to play as the 19th-ranked Drexel Dragons defeated No. 14 Penn State, 13-11, in the CAA semifinals. Drexel will play No. 1 UMass in the CAA title game in Amherst on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Glynn came across the top of the box, managed to get by a pair of defenders and then fired a shot that was deflected in front and found its way past Austin Kaut. The Dragons added an insurance goal with 1:02 left as Kyle Bergman picked up an empy net goal with Kaut out of the cage.

Penn State had tied the game with 4:50 to play when Gavin Ahern scored on a delayed penalty. After the goal, Drexel was called for a cross-check giving the Nittany Lions a man-up for a minute. However, in one of the biggest plays of the game, sophomore Deven Thomas won the face off and Drexel was able to kill the penalty without Penn State getting a shot.

Drexel had a two-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter at 10-8. Church scored his third goal of the game with just :26 left in the third quarter. That lead didn't last long as the Nittany Lions scored a pair of goals in the first four minutes of the final quarter. Nick Dolik opened the fourth quarter scoring at the 13:50 mark with an unassisted goal. Penn State evened it at 10 when Matthew Mackrides scored his second of the night and 30th of the season with 11:02 remaining in the contest.

The Dragons trailed 6-5 heading into the second half, but scored the first four goals of the third quarter to turn a one-goal deficit into a three-goal lead. Andrew Vivian had one of the goals and assisted on two others, one by Kyle Bergman and another by Kevin Stockel, as Drexel went up, 9-6. Penn State's Dolik answered with a pair of goals late in the third to cut Drexel's lead to just a goal.

Ben McIntosh, who opened the scoring for the Dragons just four minutes into the game, but Penn State answered with four straight goals to take a 4-1 lead. Shane Sturgis had two goals in the run for the Nittany Lions in the stretch. The Dragons responded with the next three to tie it at 4-4 with 6:29 remaining in the half. Bergman fed Aaron Prosserwho fired a shot on the run past Kaut to make it 4-2. Less than a minute later the lead was cut in half when Glynn's shot made it 4-3. The Dragons evened it up with 6:29 in the half on a Ryan Belka goal, as the Dragons came all the way back. That lead was short lived as Gavin Ahern and Mackrides sandwiched goals around a Chuch goal as the Nittany Lions took a 6-5 lead into the locker room at half.

Glynn had a four-point game for the Dragons, while Church recorded his fourth hat trick of the year. Kyle Bergman and Andrew Vivian each had three points. Dolik had a game-high four goals to lead the Lions, while Mackrides, Ahern and Sturgis each had a pair.

The Dragons dominated the face-offs in the game, winning 18 of 28, including 10 of 13 in the first half. Thomas won a career-best 17 draws. Mark Manos made nine saves in the cage for the Dragons, and came up big in the second half, making five stops. Kaut had 11 saves in a losing effort for Penn State. The Dragons outshot PSU, 39-24 and edged them in ground balls, 27-24.

The Colonial Athletic Association Championship game will be played Saturday night at No. 1 UMass. The Minutemen defeated Towson in the other CAA semifinal game.


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