Ithaca Stuns No. 11 Stevens, Heads to E8 Title Tilt
from press release
HOBOKEN, N.J. – The third-seeded Ithaca College men's lacrosse team (12-5) stunned 11th-ranked and second-seeded Stevens Institute of Technology (12-4), 12-10, in an Empire 8 semifinal game Wednesday afternoon at the De Baun Athletic Complex. The Bombers advance to the Empire 8 title game for the seventh time in 10 years. They will travel to 15th-ranked and top-seeded Nazareth Saturday for a noon contest.
Strong second and fourth quarters powered the Bombers past the Ducks. The teams exchanged first-period goals to enter the second frame tied at 1-1. The Ducks rewrote an Ithaca goal that opened the second with a pair of their own before the Bombers netted three consecutive. The Ducks brought the game within one, 5-4, at the five-minute mark, but Ithaca put away two to own a 7-4 margin at intermission.
Stevens rattled off three straight in the third to knot action for the fourth and final time at 7-7 with 2:55 lingering in the quarter. Junior Brandon Henne (Port Washington, N.Y./Port Washington) won the ensuing faceoff, one of a career-best 19 on the day, en route to an Andrew Bruce (Lafayette, Calif./De La Salle) go-ahead goal just eight seconds later. The Bombers went on to score four unanswered for a solid 12-7 gap with 6:11 left to play. Stevens snuck within 12-10 with a trio of goals in the final five minutes, but the Bombers held off the Ducks who ousted Ithaca from an NCAA appearance with a 10-7 Empire 8 championship victory in 2012.
Bruce led the game with a career-best six points on four goals and a pair of assists. Sophomore James Manilla (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) matched a career-high with a hat trick and two assists. Junior Jake Long (Ft. Washington, Pa./Upper Dublin) chipped in two scores and one assists and classmate Ryan Burns (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch) tallied one goal and dished out one helper. Junior Joe Perkins (Rush, N.Y./Rush-Henrietta) and Henne each found the back of the net once, while seniors Adam Wacenske (Rochester, N.Y./Gates-Chili) and Connor Lowe (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) and juniors Pat Slawta (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) and Casey Schattner (Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesee) had one assist apiece.
Henne accompanied his faceoff domination with a game-best eight ground balls. Sophomore Steve Danylyshyn (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) collected six.
Defensively, Wacenske forced a Bomber-best three turnovers and Scott Sidnam (Camillus, N.Y./West Genesee) tallied the win in cage. He made 13 saves, the 12th double-digit save performance of his rookie campaign.
Stevens claimed a 42-39 edge in shots, while Ithaca held a 38-29 advantage in ground balls and a 19-7 benefit in faceoffs.