Elizabethtown vs. Messiah
March 31, 2004
The Game Story:
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. --- Elizabethtown College sent a strong message to the rest of the Middle Atlantic Conference that its three year-old men's lacrosse program is rapidly maturing into a force in the conference with an 11-10 overtime victory over Messiah College at home Wednesday. It was the Blue Jays' first win ever against Messiah, which had defeated Etown 14-1 last year, and it was also Etown's first win ever against a nationally ranked team. Messiah is currently ranked 12th in the nation in NCAA Division III.

After a scoreless first quarter, Messiah scored the games first two goals as Kevin Dennstaedt (Annapolis, MD/Annapolis Christian) tallied the first two of his six goals for the game at 11:39 and 10:32 remaining in the second quarter. Matt Seiboth (Havertown, PA/Haverford) got Etown on the scoreboard with a goal at 8:26 remaining in the second quarter. Dennstaedt scored again at 6:47 to give Messiah a 3-1 lead. Etown's Frankie Puzzangara (Wallingford, PA/Strath Haven) struck back for Etown with the first of his team-leading four goals with 2:16 left in the second quarter to cut the Messiah lead to 3-2. With one minute to go in the second quarter, Messiah held a 5-2 lead. Puzzangara scored again 24 seconds before halftime to cut the Falcons' lead to 5-3 going into halftime.

Etown opened the second half by scoring three unanswered goals to take its first lead of the game, 6-5. Seiboth scored on a Matt Newell (Malvern, PA/Great Valley) assist with 13:21 left in the third quarter. Newell followed with a goal of his own at 12:25, and Puzzangara struck with his third goal at 11:25. A Jono Linebaugh (Oak Hill, VA/Oakton) goal off a Dennsteadt assist for Messiah at 9:00 tied the score 6-6, and Messiah went up 7-6 at 3:30 on another Dennsteadt goal at 3:39. Bryan Miller (West Chester, PA/Henderson) tied the score at 7-7 with a goal for Etown at 1:42 left in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter opened with Messiah taking an 8-7 lead at 11:26 on another Dennsteadt goal. Etown tied the game 8-8 at 7:52 on a Justin Griffey (Aberdeen, MD/Aberdeen) goal. Dennsteadt struck yet again for Messiah at 6:20 to give the Falcons a 9-8 advantage.

Griffey scored again for Etown on a power play goal at 3:44 to knot the game at 9-9, and Allen Churchman (Aston, PA/Garnet Valley) scored on Newell's third assist of the day with just 1:58 remaining in regulation time to give Elizabethtown a 10-9 lead. However, with just 45 seconds left in regulation time, Linebaugh scored on a Dennsteadt assist for Messiah to tie the game at 10-10 and send it into overtime.

Etown needed just 39 seconds in overtime to win the game, as Puzzangara scored unassisted to give the Blue Jays the victory.

Puzzangara led Etown in scoring with four goals, and Seiboth and Griffey each added two goals. Newell led Etown in assists with three. Paul Wisneski (Cheyney, PA/Henderson) and Chris McCrea (Broomall, PA/Marple Newtown) each led Etown in ground balls with six, and Etown goalie Brian Burke (Upper Darby, PA/Haverford) made ten saves and scooped up four ground balls.

Dennsteadt led Messiah in goals with six, assisted two more goals for a game-high total of eight points, and he grabbed six ground balls. Linebaugh had four assists for Messiah plus two goals for six points. Messiah net-minder Chris Gilbert (Scottsville, VA/Covenant School) made 12 saves and had six ground balls.

Elizabethtown will return to action on the road Saturday, April 3 in a 1:00 p.m. game at MAC rival King's College.