Messiah vs. Fdu-florham
May 8, 2004
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Fdu-florham10-7
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The Game Story:
Grantham, PA (5/8/04)

The Falcons won their second MAC title on Saturday, with a 21-11 victory over the Devils of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Messiah was led by junior attackmen Jono Linebaugh with six goals on the afternoon. Fellow attackmen Reed Horanburg would score four and assist another, while senior midfielder Dan Videon would have four goals of his own.

It was freshman midfielder Peter McLean (3g) who got things started for Messiah, as he scored two unassisted goals to give his squad the 2-0 lead at the 11:29 mark of the first. Junior defenseman Josh Scouten would make it 3-0, as he scored his first career goal while his team was man down. Horanburg found the goal for the first time at 9:50, off a Kevin Dennstaedt pass to make it 4-0. FDU responded with three of the next four goals to end the quarter trailing 5-3. FDU sophomore Derek Havran would score two of the three Devil goals.

The Falcons would control the second quarter's scoring, as they went on a 8-2 run during the 15 minute stanza. Linebaugh would score three, while Videon added two more during the run. FDU's John Damiani scored his team's first goal of the game, and would score both of the Devil's second quarter tallies as well, including a fast break goal with time expired on the clock. The half time score would end 13-5 in favor of the host Falcons.

The third quarter was even at 2-2, as Linebaugh scored twice for MC, and Chris Fieger and Spencer Driggs would tally for FDU. The 15-7 lead after three quarters would climb to 19-8 when Horanburg scored twice, and Tosh Tryon and Lee Vance found net for Messiah. The goal for Vance was his first of the season.

The Devils would show absolutely no quit however, as evident in three quick goals in just 92 seconds to breathe life back into their cause. The 11 goal lead with just under 9 minutes to go was reduced to eight quickly, and momentum was clearly in the Devils favor. The Falcon offense would again assert itself, maintaining the majority of possession and adding two more goals to give Messiah the 22-11 win.

Statistic battles were tighter than the score indicated, as Messiah had a 40-39 edge in ground balls, and a 51-40 margin in shots. The Falcons went 2-5 on EMO tries, while FDU scored 3 of 9 EMO attempts. The Falcons found themselves at a disadvantage in the face-off department for the first time in MAC play this year, winning just 16 of 35 draws. The Devil's John Damiani had a big part of that, winning 16 of 28 and picking up a game high 11 ground balls. The Devils were 18 of 21 on clears, while the Falcons were 22 of 27.

Messiah keeper Chris Gilbert was credited with 12 saves against 11 goals in 60 minutes. Devil keeper John Apple made 16 stops with 21 goals against in 60 minutes played.

Messiah improves to 13-3 on the season, and now awaits the NCAA Division III seedings on Sunday evening to determine their first round opponent in the NCAA tournament. The 13 wins are a program high, and the 2004 squad also secured their second trip to the NCAA's in their eight year history. The Devils drop to 10-7 on the year.