May 14, 2011

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Dicksinson Stifles Wittenberg for Quarters Bid

from press release

CARLISLE, Pa.
– The No. 6-ranked Dickinson College men's lacrosse team stormed out to a 4-0 lead after one quarter and held off No. 15-ranked Wittenberg University in the second round of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament. The Red Devils advanced to the "Elite Eight" with an 11-4 victory, and will face the winner of tonight's match-up between No. 1-ranked Salisbury University and Endicott College.

Junior Ward Gruppo (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Prep) put the Devils on the scoreboard with an unassisted goal just 2:34 into the game. Classmate Bobby Kingsley (Bethesda, Md./St. Alban's) finished a pair of Matt Cherry (Radnor, Pa./Radnor) assists, sandwiched around a fast-break goal from sophomore Christian Beitel (Newtown, Conn./Newtown) for a 4-0 advantage.

Senior defenseman John Haire (Darien, Conn./Darien) picked-up an assist on Beitel's goal, following a solo clear and a great feed with the long pole. The Devil defense was relentless, forcing 10 turnovers with first-year Draper Donley (Lutherville, Md./St. Paul's) controlling four ground balls while sophomore Peter Zouck (Baltimore, Md./Gilman) tallied five on the day.

Sophomore Brandon Palladino (Basking Ridge, N.J./Basking Ridge) turned in a dominant performance in the midfield, adding five caused turnovers and three GBs.

Cherry scored almost immediately to open the second period, stretching the Devils' lead to 5-0. The Tigers struck with back-to-back goals as Chris Gipson scored at the 13:09 mark and Matt Lord tallied an extra-man goal with 8:10 to play in the half.

First-year Brian Cannon (Reisterstown, Pa/Loyola Blakefield) returned to the line-up to dish out three assists on the day. He gave the Devils a 7-2 lead at the break, finding senior Pat Curley (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. St. Joseph) and junior Richard Craft (Newtown Square, Pa./Episcopal) to close out the half. Cannon broke the school record for assists by a first-year, raising his single-season total to 27.

Senior goaltender Mark DeOliveira turned away five shots in the third quarter to hold the Devils to just a pair of goals. Curley capitalized on an extra-man opportunity to finish an assist from Cherry. Kingsley found the net, off an assist from Gruppo with just four seconds to play in the third to put the Devils in front, 9-2.

Sophomore Greg Hanley (Laurel Hollow, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) made three saves in the third, while the Devil defense held the Tigers to just eight shots in each quarter. The Devils kept Wittenberg off the board in both the first and third quarters of the game.

The Tigers came out for the final stanza looking to make a run. They scored off the face-off on a nice pick-up and goal from defenseman Michael Cocking. Brady Christiensen scored an extra-man goal with 10:42 to play to cut the margin to 9-4.

The Devils regrouped and closed things down on the defensive end from that point. They tacked on a pair of late goals, scoring on extra-man opportunities.

Cherry tallied his fourth assist of the game, feeding Kingsley for his fourth goal with 2:38 remaining. Beitel finished an assist from Cannon just 10 seconds later for the final of 11-4.

DeOliviera finished with 11 saves and controlled six ground balls while Elliot Avis won 10-of-18 face-offs to lead Wittenberg (14-2).

Hanley made 15 saves on the day. He adds to his school record for wins by a goalkeeper, improving to 16-1 on the year in the net.

The Red Devils improve to 17-1 overall, raising the team record for wins in a season as well. Dickinson will face the winner of Saturday night's match-up between Salisbury and Endicott on Wednesday, May 18th.


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