Hobart vs. Bucknell
April 30, 2004
The Game Story:
ANNAPOLIS, Md.- The 19th-ranked Hobart College lacrosse team advanced to the Patriot League Championship game with a dramatic 10-9 victory over Bucknell this afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Statesmen erased a three-goal third quarter deficit and a two-goal fourth quarter deficit to earn a berth in the conference title tilt with host Navy.

^^Good teams win ugly and it doesn^^t get much uglier than that for us,^^ Hobart Head Coach Matt Kerwick said.

Hobart (8-5) looked out of sync in the first half, matching a season low with just two goals (Penn State). The Bison expanded their 4-2 halftime lead in the early going of the third quarter with three goals, including a man-down score.

The Statesmen trailed 7-4 late in the third quarter, when sophomore midfielder Pat Meade (Schenectady/Schenectady, N.Y.) strapped the team on his back. He fired home back-to-back blistering shots 22 seconds apart to get Hobart within one to close the frame.

In the fourth quarter, junior midfielder Nate Molinari (Oswego/Oswego, N.Y.) completed the comeback with a 20-yard dart to the upper right corner of the cage.

The 7-7 deadlock didn^^t last long. The Bison (6-8) won the ensuing faceoff and went straight to goal, reclaiming the lead with just 13 ticks run off the clock. Bucknell made it 9-7 at the 9:04 mark, but the Statesmen wouldn^^t go away.

Sophomore attackman Mike Conklin (West Genesee/Syracuse, N.Y.) deposited a crease pass from Meade to get Hobart back within a single score with 8:26 remaining.

The Statesmen evened the contest with 5:02 to go. Conklin raced into the attack zone in an unsettled situation, shot, and hit the post. He pulled the ground ball out of the scrum in front of the Bison cage and ripped his 22nd goal of the season. Conklin finished with a team-high three goals.

At the 2:50 mark, first-year midfielder Chris David (Georgetown Prep/Silver Springs, Md.) gave Hobart its first lead since netting the contest^^s opening goal, finishing a falling down shot from 10-yards out.

The Statesmen faced one last charge from the Bison. Just inside the final minute, Hobart was flagged for a cross checking penalty, but an errant centering pass was intercepted by sophomore defenseman Matt Murphy (Haverford/Havertown, Pa.) and the Statesmen ran out the final 35 seconds.

First-year midfielder John Soden (Delbarton/Chester, N.J.) was a beacon of consistency at the faceoff X, winning 17-of-23 restarts, while first-year defenseman Chris Keough (Hicksville/Hicksville, N.Y.) picked up a game-high nine ground balls.

In goal, junior Dan Valente (Mt. Hebron/Ellicott City, Md.) made 13 saves to pick up his eight win of the season.

The Statesmen and the Midshipmen will square off at 2 p.m., on May 2, for the Patriot League Championship and the accompanying automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.