Widener Beats Messiah, Earns NCAA Bid
from press release
CHESTER, Pa. - Widener rode the wave of a seven-goal second quarter and won its 13th Middle Atlantic Conference championship with an 11-6 triumph over Messiah at Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium.
Widener (15-2) improved to 22-3 in the MAC Tournament and is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in school history. The Pride have played in the last seven MAC finals, going 6-1, and are 11-1 in the championship game with no final held for their first two titles.
Of the nine NCAA Tournament trips, head coach Jamie Lockard has been a part of eight of them that includes four in his present role. He also went three times as a player (2000, 2002-03) and once as an assistant coach (2006).
The NCAA Tournament bracket will be released Sunday, May 8 at 10:00 pm on NCAA.com.
The top-seeded Pride eradicated a two-goal deficit with two markers over 21 seconds early in the second quarter. Senior and Tournament Most Outstanding Player Andrew Janusz (Easton, PA) scored to make it 2-1 and senior JJ Hoeffler (Cranford, NJ) tallied with 13:10 left for a 2-2 tie.
Janusz was not done, getting a huge goal with exactly 10 minutes left in the first half for a 3-2 Widener lead. Freshman Robert Clemens (Aston, PA) and junior Whitney Bruemmer (Southampton, PA) tallied 43 seconds apart for a 5-2 Pride cushion with 7:05 left.
The backbreaker came with 3:15 to go in the half. After a personal foul on the Pride that had the home team down a man for one minute, Bruemmer scored just the team's second man-down goal of the season for a 6-2 lead.
Junior Josh Fox (Wynnewood, PA) ended the scoring in the period with 1:18 to go for a 7-2 margin. The Pride closed with a 14-4 shots edge in the quarter and 46-28 overall.
Janusz played great with three goals on just six shots. Clemens, Fox, Hoeffler and Bruemmer each had two goals and the goalkeeper combination of sophomore Bobby Schulter (Kennett Square, PA) and freshman Mac Nestler (Chatham, NJ) only needed to make three saves.
Phil Wendt scored twice and Zach Cureton made 13 saves for the second-seeded Falcons, who were making their first appearance in the MAC final since 2008.