Messiah vs. Elizabethtown
May 5, 2005
The Game Story:
Grantham, PA -- Messiah jumped out to a 6-1 first quarter lead en route to
a 11-2 lead at the half, over the visiting BlueJays of Elizabethtown College
in a second round MAC tournament game on Thursday. The win improves the
Falcons record to 13-2 on the season, tying the program record for most wins
in a season. With the loss the BlueJays ended their 2005 campaign with a
record of 9-8. Today the BlueJays saw their season end for the second
straight year in the conference semi-finals at the hands of Messiah College.

Senior Nat Pierce scored two of MC's first three goals, both unassisted, to
go up 3-0 half way into the first stanza. Senior midfielder Bryan Miller
would get the visitors on the board at 5:45 to get back to within two goals.
Messiah's Andrew Collins, who scored the game's second goal, took a pass
from freshman LSM Paul Merena just 12 seconds after Miller's goal to get the
momentum back in the Falcons favor. Fellow freshman Alex Finch would score
one of his game-high five goals off the first career assist from rookie Josh
Mueller, and then Finch would assist sophomore Adam Myers to finish the
quarter at 6-1 in favor of the host Falcons.

The second quarter saw Finch score three straight goals to give Messiah a
9-1 lead at the 7:09 mark of the second. Sophomore Frankie Puzzangara would
find fellow BlueJay Matt Newell open on the doorstep for their lone goal of
the second period. Senior attackmen Jono Linebaugh and sophomore Peter
McLean would score the final goals of the half, building the Falcon lead to
11-2 after 30 minutes.

Etown would outscore the host Falcons 3-2 for the final 30, including two
goals in the game's final four minutes, but the lead would never drop below
seven goals for Messiah, and the game was never in question after the host
team's dominate first half performance.

Freshman Alex Finch would lead all scorers in the game with 5 goals and an
assist, while sophomores teammate Andrew Collins also have a big day in the
books with 2 goals and three assists. Pierce ended up with the pair of
goals and one assist, while six other Falcons either added a goal or an
assist.

Etown was led by a great senior class on the day, who will leave the program
with impressive careers by any standard, having built their program into a
contender for the MAC in just four short seasons. Seniors Newell (2g),
Miller (1g), Justin Griffey (1g), Justin McQuaid (1g) and Allen Churchman
(1a) all had points in their final outing. Fellow senior defender Chris
McCrea would pick up a team high 9 ground balls, while sophomore midfielder
Frankie Puzzangara had 2 assists, and freshman goalie Chris Schuch would
make 11 stops on the afternoon.

Messiah's Chris Gilbert would accumulate 13 saves while allowing 5 goals.
Tosh Tryon would win 13 of 21 face-offs, and pick up a game high 11 ground
balls. The Falcons held advantages in ground balls (57-47), shots (46-29)
and face-offs (13-8).

Messiah will host the MAC championship game for the second straight season
on Saturday, and will host the tournament's #2 seeded Pioneers of Widener
University who advanced with a 14-7 victory over Lycoming in the other MAC
semi-final match-up. Saturday's game time will be 2:00PM. The winner will
earn an automatic bid to the 2005 Division III NCAA tournament that starts
next week.