Vmi vs. Manhattan
March 18, 2003
The Game Story:
LEXINGTON, Va. -- Senior goalkeeper Brian Ward (Novi, Mich/ Novi) made a career-high 20 saves to help the VMI lacrosse team defeat defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Manhattan, 8-7 on Tuesday afternoon at Patchin Field. No team led by two goals in a game that featured five ties and four lead changes.

"I've seen this program have some big wins in my 19-year career, but none bigger than today," said VMI head coach Doug Bartlett. "We won a game that nobody figured we could and we did it against our conference's defending champion."

VMI (2-3, 2-0 MAAC) got on the board first with an extra-man goal from junior attackman Leo McInerney (Syracuse, N.Y./ Marcellus) at the 9:43 mark of the first quarter. Manhattan (2-5, 1-1 MAAC) knotted the game 1:21 later, as senior midfielder Dan Femminela scored. With 7:03 left in the quarter, McInerney fed senior attackman Matt Dixson (Arlington, Va./ Bishop O'Connell) to give the Keydets a 2-1 lead.

The second quarter saw each team score three goals a piece. Manhattan's senior midfielder Mike Kelly scored two extra-man goals in the period. McInerney scored on an assist from Dixson with 2:30 left in the half to give VMI a 5-4 lead at the break.

Manhattan scored three third quarter goals to VMI's two, led by two goals from sophomore attackman Eugene Tanner. His extra-man goal with seven seconds left in the period knotted the game at seven.

In the fourth period, VMI's sophomore midfielder Erik Rohrmann (Ridgefield, Conn./ Ridgefield) scored an unassisted goal with 10:53 remaining in the game, which proved to be the game-winner. VMI withstood numerous Manhattan rushes to the goal and Ward made three fourth quarter saves to preserve the victory.

McInerney led VMI in scoring with two goals and two assists. Sophomore midfielder Gabe McCaig (Painted Post, N.Y./ Corning West) scored two goals and notched one assist. Kelly led all goal-scorers with three. He added an assist for the Jaspers.

Manhattan's freshman goalkeeper Matt Altomare made 13 saves on the afternoon. Of Ward's 20 saves, 12 came during the first half as he faced 46 total shots during the game.

VMI will return to action on Saturday afternoon at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y. Face-off is scheduled for 1:00. Manhattan will play host to Providence on Saturday, also at 1 p.m.