May 12, 2010

*Courtesy of Dickinson College Athletics

CARLISLE, Pa. - The #7-ranked Dickinson College men's lacrosse team advanced to the second round of the 2010 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship, topping visiting #20-ranked Ohio Wesleyan, 7-3, on Wednesday afternoon.

The Red Devils struck first in what would prove to be a defensive standoff in the first half. First-year Brandon Palladino (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) triggered a fast-break and assisted senior Ted Sirvaitis (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) to put the Devils on the board just 1:27 into the game.

That would be the only goal of the first quarter as both defenses held strong in front of solid goaltending on both ends of the field. Dickinson senior Tyler Magann (Easton, Pa./The Hill School) made four saves in the quarter while OWU's Jud Hall (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) stopped three shots.

Dickinson pulled in front 2-0 at the 9:44 mark when Sam Abramson (Alexandria, Va./Potomac) found the net, scoring off an assist from Chris Dodson (Bethesda, Md./Landon). That also marked Dodson's school record-tying 80th career assist.

The Bishops forced Magann to make six saves in the second quarter, but still couldn't put one past the senior netminder. The teams each tallied nine shots in the second period, but the scored would remain 2-0 as the teams went into halftime.

Hall made three more saves in the second, and the OWU defense continued to play well, keeping pace with Dickinson.

The Devils capitalized on Ohio Wesleyan penalties to open the third period with a pair of goals in the first four minutes. Abramson returned the favor, feeding Dodson on an extra-man goal at the 12:58 mark. Abramson then collected a great pass from Ward Gruppo (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Prep) to stretch the Devils' lead to 4-0 with 11:07 remaining in the third quarter.

The Battling Bishops continued to do just that, scoring back-to-back goals in the final 1:51 to cut the deficit to 4-2 entering the final stanza.

Chris Ehlinger (Radnor, Pa./Radnor) put the Bishops on the board, scoring man-down in transition. OWU claimed the ensuing face-off and Rob Young (Langhorne, Pa./Council Rock South) struck immediately to cut the lead in half at the 1:39 mark.

Wesleyan carried the momentum into the third quarter, pulling within one with 13:12 remaining in the game. Robb Shrader (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) made a great move to cut the Devils' lead to 4-3.

Abramson struck again at the 7:36 mark to give the Devils a breathe of air. He added another with 3:19 to play, and Dickinson began smell the end with a three goal advantage.

The Devils won the face-off and the goaltenders traded huge saves as the clock closed in on two minutes. Palladino made a great play to get the ball into the offensive zone and the Devils called a timeout as he was under a lot of pressure by the Bishops.

Sirvaitis broke free and found an empty net as Hall had to come out to help double-team. That would all but do it as Dickinson went up 7-3 with just 1:11 remaining in the contest.

OWU won the face-off but senior Dewey Dubord (Freeport, Maine/Governor Dummer) forced a turnover and picked-up the ground ball. The Devils simply held on from that point and will advance to the second round in the program's first tournament appearance.

Magann turned in a truly remarkable performance, making 20 saves on the afternoon. He received outstanding play from his starting defense of seniors Chris Breslin (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) and Al Golod (Lloyd Harbor, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor), and junior John Haire (Darien, Conn./Darien). Golod caused three turnovers and tallied a game-high six ground balls.

Abramson finished with a game-high four goals and one assist. Sirvaitis tallied a pair of goals while Dodson scored once and dished out his 80th career helper.

Hall stopped 16 shots in the cage for OWU. Ricky Scheetz (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome) won 8-of-11 face-offs and tallied four ground balls.

The Red Devils raise their school record with their 15th win of the season. Dickinson improves to 15-2 overall. They will host Haverford College on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm.