Widener vs. Messiah
May 3, 2003
The Game Story:
CHESTER, PA ^ Widener^s Brian Manion scored five times, including three times in the final 15 minutes, as Widener broke open the game in the second half to pick up its second straight Middle Atlantic Conference Championship title. The title was also Widener^s seventh in a nine-year span and the Pioneers have now won 23 consecutive Middle Atlantic Conference games. Widener receives the Middle Atlantic Conference^s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, its third in the four years of the automatic qualifier.

Nat Pierce, who scored two goals, tallied the first goal of the game just two and a half minutes into the contest to give Messiah a 1-0 lead. Widener answered a minute later as Eric Blake scored his first of two goals and Widener increased its lead to 3-1 before allowing a late score at the end of the quarter. Widener received three straight goals within the first 90 seconds of the second quarter from Todd Fairlie, Kyle Swezey and Manion and Jamie Lockard scored a fourth goal with 11:03 in the quarter as Widener upped its lead to 7-2. Messiah mounted a comeback, scoring four unanswered goals by Dan Videon, Reed Horanburg, Kevin Dennstaedt and Alex Bitzer to pull within a one-goal margin, 7-6. Blake scored his second goal of the half with 1:30 left before the half expired to again lead by two,8-6.

Widener^s defense held Messiah scoreless in the third quarter and the offense outscored the visitors 6-3 in the final 15 minutes. Manion led Widener with five goals and Steve Littlewood had three goals and three assists. Pat Carmack made 20 saves, the second time this season he had at least 20 saves.

Messiah had three players with two goals each, including Ryan White, Horanburg and Pierce. Chris Gilbert made 15 saves for the Falcons. Widener improves to 12-3 overall while Messiah drops to 11-4 overall.