Alvernia vs. Eastern
April 18, 2007
The Game Story:
The Eastern Men's Lacrosse considered this afternoon's contest at Alvernia their first playoff game of the year. With just four teams earning

bids to the PAC playoffs, the Eagles needed a win in Reading to keep their playoff hopes alive. After a shaky start, the Eagles came to life with six straight fourth quarter goals to earn their sixth win of the year.

The host Crusaders jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the the first six minutes of the game before Chris Franklin picked up his second goal of the year with 6:25 left in the first quarter to trim the Alvernia advantage to 2-1. In a man-up situation, Ben O'Donnell then scored the first of his four first half goals to level the contest on a nice pass from Kyle Dresser. O'Donnell again scored from Dresser with less than a minute remaining in the opening quarter to give the Eagles their first lead of the afternoon.

The second period opened, and Adam Schmidt pulled the host Crusaders level on an even strength goal. Eastern's Michael Ryan answered with an unassisted goal with ten mintues to play. After Tom Novak scored his second goal of the afternoon for the hosts on a tough angle shot from the right side of the crease, O'Donnell finished the half with two straight tallies. Dresser set up O'Donnell's third goal with his 22nd assist of the year. That number breaks the school record set by Ryan Hamidi last spring. O'Donnell's fourth goal came on a beautiful tip in off a rebound of a Nick Mandia shot with just twenty seconds to play in the half.

The second half began with the Eagles killing multiple penalties and struggling to gain momentum as the Crusaders scored two straight to open the third quarter. Sophomore midfielder Nate Tunfio then took over the game. Trunfio, who is often used in defensive role, took advantage of a couple mismatches to score two straight goals. After an unassisted goal at the 5:55 mark. Trunfio gave the Eagles a two goal lead when he dropped a pass from PAt Dempsey down into the goalkeeper's feet for his second of the afternoon. Alvernia took the ensuing face-off and scored almost immediately as Sean Cullen tucked away a Tom Fraker pass. The third quarter ended on a down note for the Eagles as a turnover deep in their own end resulted ina game tying goal.

All young teams have to learn to close out games, and the Eastern staff has been working with their group on doing just that. In response to a tough break at the end of the third, the Eagles came out with a dominating fourth quarter performance to earn their third PAC win. After an extended period of possession, Trunfio again took a Dempsey pass and dropped it low to put the Eagles up 9-8 with eleven minutes to play.

A turning point in the game came with just under seven minutes to play after Paul Macerino forced a turnover and flipped the ball to Andrew Minnick, Minnick then flipped the ball to Michael Hofmeister in the Eastern box and carried it out of pressure. Rather than slow up the play, the long-stick midfielder sprinted into the Eastern box until the defense committed to him and he tossed the ball to O'Donnell twelve meters from the front of the cage. O'Donnell barely caught the ball and flicked it on to Dresser who buried his first goal of the game.

The Eagles then scored four straight to end the game as the hosts tried to step up their pressure. Dempsey, who finished the game with four points scored a pair of late goals, and Mandia and Dresser also added goals.

The Eagles return to action at home Saturday afternoon with a 1:00 non-league game against Ohio Wesleyan.