Gettysburg vs. Franklin And Marshall
April 26, 2002
The Game Story:
GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Pete Milliman (Rochester, NY/Brighton) and Rich Sharp (Acton, MA/Acton-Boxborough Reg.) each scored twice and Tim McGinnis (Ellicott City, MD/Loyola-Blakefield) made 16 saves as No. 1 Gettysburg held on to defeat Franklin & Marshall 7-6 in the semifinals of the Centennial Conference (CC) men's lacrosse championship on Friday.

Keyed by goals from Beau Smith and Bryan Nolan in the final 3:06, the Diplomats (8-7) sliced the lead to one goal in the final minute, but McGinnis stopped Jon Singer with 26 seconds left to derail the furious comeback attempt and give the Bullets (13-1) a shot at their fifth consecutive CC title.

Gettysburg will host No. 5 Washington on Sunday for the conference championship and automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. Game time is 1 p.m. The Bullets downed the Shoremen 15-7 in last year's title tilt, also played at Musselman Stadium.

Washington advanced to Sunday's final with a 12-8 victory over Western Maryland, avenging last Saturday's 15-14 double-overtime loss to the Green Terror.

F&M freshman goalie Mike Sartorius matched McGinnis save-for-save on the afternoon, recording 17 stops to help hold Gettysburg to its lowest scoring output of the season. Steve Welsh led the Diplomats with two goals.

In contrast to their 14-5 win over F&M on Saturday in Lancaster, the Bullets struggled to solve Sartorius throughout the afternoon, relying on one of the nation's best defenses to pull out the win.

Although Wes Cadman (Yorktown Heights, NY/Yorktown) put the hosts ahead to stay with the game's first goal at 4:57 of the opening quarter, the Diplomats hung around from start to finish.

Sharp found the net twice to make it 4-1 one minute into the second half and Vinny Merlino (Rye, NY/Rye) finished a fast break for a 5-2 lead, but Welsh netted goals two minutes apart to pull F&M within one late in the third.

Ric Bremer (Ridgefield, CT/John Jay [NY]) finished a Jake Van Nostrand (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) feed with 39 seconds left in the third, then set up Milliman with 6:27 remaining in the game to give Gettysburg a seemingly safe 7-4 edge.

The Diplomats, however, rallied on goals from Smith and Nolan, the latter coming with 59 seconds still to play. After an F&M win on the ensuing face-off, Singer got off a shot with 26 ticks left, but McGinnis had the answer and the Bullets were able to run out the clock on their 15th consecutive victory over the Diplomats.

Van Nostrand finished with a game-high three assists while Bremer added a goal and two assists on the day. Nolan and Vandy Vanderwarker chipped in with one goal and one assist in the loss.

Gettysburg is seeking its fifth consecutive CC championship on Sunday and seventh in the nine-year history of the conference. The Shoremen claimed the other two titles, in 1996 and 1997.