CHESTERTOWN, Md. - Steve Berger scored a game-high five goals and Richard Yost
made 13 saves to lead fifth-ranked Washington past No. 12 Gettysburg 11-2 in
the Centennial Conference (CC) men's lacrosse championship game on Sunday.
Berger scored the game's first three goals and assisted on the fourth,
staking the Shoremen (12-2) to an early lead they would never relinquish en
route to their first CC title since 1997. Yost kept the Bullets (11-5) off the
scoreboard until the final three minutes of the second quarter, then pitched a
shutout after halftime, helping Washington hold Gettysburg to a season-low two
Brent Renner chipped in with a goal and three assists for the Shoremen,
who earned the CC's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.
Matt McMillen (Media, PA/Penncrest) and Evan Gallant (Lutherville,
MD/Loyola Blakefield) found the net for the Bullets, who saw their streak of
five consecutive conference championships come to an end. Gettysburg also fell
for the first time in its last four trips to Chestertown.
After falling to the Bullets in the CC championship game each of the
past two seasons, Washington earned its revenge the third time around.
On the Shoremen's second possession of the game, Berger took a pass
from Renner and ripped home a shot from the top of the box to make it 1-0 with
just 3:21 elapsed. Berger needed 34 seconds to give his team a two-goal edge,
scoring unassisted in transition following a Yost save on Gettysburg's Chris
Renzi (Fairport, NY/Fairport).
Bullet goalie Tim McGinnis (Ellicott City, MD/Loyola Blakefield) came
up with four of his 16 saves in the final 11 minutes of the quarter to maintain
the two-goal deficit, but Gettysburg was unable to take advantage.
Washington then exploded for five second-quarter goals - four coming in
a span of 2 minutes, 36 seconds - to take command.
Berger shook his defender at the top of the zone and scored unassisted
to make it 3-0 at the 13:12 mark, then set up Chris Edwards on a cutting finish
just over a minute later for a four-goal edge. Renner struck off an unassisted
run at the 11:47 mark and Spivey scored on a cut to the goal-mouth to give the
Shoremen a 6-0 lead with 10:36 left in the half.
Spivey struck again with 4:44 left remaining before the break to make
McMillen, one of Gettysburg's close defenders, put his team on the
scoreboard with 2:31 left in the half, netting his first collegiate goal on a
coast-to-coast run. Gallant scored off a cross-crease feed from Jake Van
Nostrand (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) 53 seconds later to pull the Bullets within 7-2,
but the defending champs wouldn't find the net the rest of the afternoon.
Goals from Berger and Edwards in a span of eight seconds late in the
third quarter pushed the lead to 9-2. Berger netted his fifth goal of the day
and Spivey capped his hat trick in the fourth quarter to set the final margin.
Gettysburg will now await a possible at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, which
is slated to begin on May 7. The tournament pairings will be announced next
Washington College vs. Gettysburg