Rice, DiMaria Shine in Division I-II North-South Game
by Justin Lafleur | LaxMagazine.com
RADNOR, Pa. — The South opened a 13-4 third-quarter lead and held on for a 16-10 win in the 72nd Annual USILA/LaxWorld Division I-II Senior North-South Game Friday on the campus of Cabrini College. Game MVP Jack Rice of Villanova, along with David DiMaria of Lehigh helped spark an 8-0 South run bridging the second and third quarters to turn a one-goal lead into a nine-goal advantage.
Rice scored a hat trick while DiMaria posted a game-high four points to pace the offense. Offense was the story throughout as the South led 3-0 just 2:16 into the game. The North pulled within 5-4 after a Kevin Kennedy goal early in the second quarter, but the South took over from there.
"It was a pretty awesome experience," said Rice. "You get to go out there and play against the some of the best seniors in the country. They're kids you've been playing against for all four years. It's pretty cool to get to know them."
Delaware's Nick Diachenko was the story early on, scoring the South's first two goals in the span of 44 seconds to give his squad a 2-1 lead. They would never trail. Zach Cummings of Limestone also scored twice for the South. The North was led by a duo from Marist as Connor Rice and Jack Doherty each scored twice while six others got on the scoreboard with a goal apiece.
The goalies impressed against a deluge of shots. Bellarmine's Dillon Ward showed why he led the nation in save percentage and was a Third Team All-American, stopping eight-of-12 shots for the South before giving way to Towson's Andrew Wascavage who made seven saves on 13 shots. Together, they held the North scoreless for a stretch of 21:47 during its 8-0 run.
The North duo of Jeff Lowman (St. John's) and Matt Sharp (Siena) combined for 16 saves.
It was a great opportunity to come out and play a fun, yet still spirited game. Despite being an exhibition, hard checks, groundball battles and intense play was very prevalent.
"It's a great honor to come out with three other Lehigh guys out here playing," said DiMaria, whose Mountain Hawks had four players in the game, the most of any school. "Playing with a bunch of good seniors, a bunch of good players from all across the country, it was a great experience. It was fun to get out here once again for one last time. It's not something I take for granted. I really appreciate the opportunity."
Marist attackmen Rice and Doherty scored the North's final four goals and four of the game's last five scores overall. Jack Rice took a feed from DiMaria at 4:22 of the fourth quarter for his hat-trick goal to make it 16-8, all but sealing Game MVP honors. It marked the second time DiMaria and Rice connected; DiMaria also found Lehigh teammate Dante Fantoni at 2:28 of the second quarter before scoring himself just 1:41 later.
In the Division III North-South game, Cabrini's Bobby Thorpe scored three goals, including the game-winner in a 12-11 overtime win for the South. Thorpe added one assist and was named game MVP.