Messiah vs. Elizabethtown
April 5, 2007
The Game Story:
GRANTHAM, Pa. --- Elizabethtown suffered its first Middle Atlantic Conference loss of 2007 Thursday, falling to Messiah College on the road, 11-5. The loss drops the Blue Jays to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the MAC, while Messiah, the lone remaining team win an undefeated record in the MAC, improves to 5-3 overall and 5-0 in the conference.

The game was close much of the way. Elizabethtown scored the game’s first goal with 11:08 on the clock in the first quarter as Aaron Weber (Lititz, PA/Manheim Central) struck off a Josh Dougherty (Ocean City, MD/Worcester Prep.) assist. By the end of the first quarter, however, Messiah held a 2-1 lead on goals scored with 1:24 and six seconds left on the clock. By halftime, the host Falcons clung to a 5-3 lead. By the end of the third quarter, Messiah led 6-4. Messiah put the game away in the fourth quarter, tallying five consecutive goals from 14:49 to 3:49 on the clock before Etown scored the game’s final goal with 1:46 remaining. Elizabethtown out-shot Messiah 34-28 over the course of the game and held a 34-31 advantage in ground balls.

Etown senior midfielder Frankie Puzzangara (Wallingford, PA/Strath Haven) became the Blue Jays’ all-time leading goal scorer Thursday, as he tallied a pair of goals against Messiah to boost his career total to 109, breaking the old career mark of 107 held by Matt Newell ’05. Puzzangara also now owns Elizabethtown’s record for most career ground balls with 280. He had six ground balls against Messiah, and he won seven face-offs against the Falcons and had one assist.

Scoring single goals for the Blue Jays were Weber, who also had an assist, Andrew Wagner (Bel Air, MD/C. Milton Wright) and Keith Staulters (Ballston Spa, NY/Ballston Spa). Puzzangara and defender Eric Peifer (Lancaster, PA/Hempfield) tied for the team lead in ground balls with six each. Etown goaltender Chris Schuch (Columbia, PA/Hempfield) made 14 saves and had two ground balls.

Alex Finch and Nick Ricucci led Messiah in scoring with three goals apiece, and Finch had one assist. Tim Sandusky led Messiah in assists with three and scored two goals, and Andrew Collins totaled two goals and two assists for the Falcons. Ryan Finch scored one goal for Messiah and led the team in ground balls with ten. Messiah goaltender Ted Oberg made 15 saves and had two ground balls.

Elizabethtown will return to action at home Wednesday, April 11 against Susquehanna University in a 4:00 p.m. MAC game.