The Washington Shoremen overcame a 2-1 deficit at the end of the first quarter with an eight goal run while holding Haverford scoreless for over 33 minutes. Five of attackman Jimmy Kielek’s seven points came in their eight goal run. Linemate Kolyn Kirby added a hat trick. The story of the day, for the second game in a row, for Washington was junior goalie Gordon Cohen. While Haverford dominated the time of possession and pace of the game early, Cohen made 12 saves in the first half. He finished with 18 on the day. Haverford freshman Max Hjelm had a hat trick in the losing effort while senior defenseman Joel Censer held Washington senior attackman and two-time All-American Chris Read scoreless.
Washington got on the board first, but Haverford dominated the pace of this game early. Haverford controlled the ball and moved it around very effectively on offense. However, they couldn’t finish the deal and build on their lead. A couple of missed calls in the first quarter could have potentially given Haverford a boost. The first came when goalie Jake Mendlinger sprinted out to get a groundball behind the net. Mendlinger was pushed from behind with possession, but the referee that made the call was behind the play and couldn’t see the possession. Had the call been correct, Haverford would have had a man-up chance. Following Haverford’s second goal, a righty by senior Dean Granoff with 1:53 left in the first, the referee proceeded to check the faceoff guys’ sticks (http://www.lax.com/bimages/2066/45). He started with Haverford’s Matt Thorne-Fitzgerald, which was legal. As he was checking Thorne-Fitzgerald’s Washington’s Thayer Damm was behind him pressing down on his head pushing the scoop into the ground. As anyone that’s ever played with a questionably pinched stick knows any little effort like this, especially on a hot day, could help make a stick that is close to illegal just legal enough. Alas, it might not have made much of a difference, but the two other refs should have seen this and called it as a penalty in the same way anyone that tampers with their pocket, i.e. a pull string, after the ref calls a stick check.
Neither missed call was the reason that Haverford lost the game. Those reasons were Washington goalie Gordon Cohen and the offense’s inability to figure him out. As Haverford continued to press and create opportunities, Cohen started seeing the ball better and better. Eight saves in the second quarter helped spark the Shoremen opportunistic offense. Four spread-out goals in the second quarter led to a 5-2 halftime lead. Neither team managed to find the back of the next for nearly ten minutes in the third quarter, until Washington’s Kirby took advantage of a man-up opportunity for his second of the day. Jimmy Kielek managed to assist on two goals in the last :33 seconds of the third quarter (one coming just before the horn blew) to stretch the lead to 9-2.
Haverford got some momentum by cutting the lead to 9-4 with 11:44 left to play, but a two-goal run by Washington would put any real comeback attempt out-of-reach. While pressuring out and doubling the ball, Haverford managed to get possessions towards the end of the game. They squeezed two goals past back-up goalie Danny Walker, but still struggled to put the ball in the back of the net.
Credit Washington for taking advantage of their opportunities today as they were outshot and had less groundballs than Haverford, but were 2-for-2 on man-up. Cohen’s play continued to be important for Washington. As the Shoremen’s defenders forced Haverford into the shots they wanted them to take, Cohen was there to make the saves, 18 of them. His play might continue to be the difference for Washington, after a 16-save performance last week at Salisbury and his performance this week, he appears to be seeing the ball well, which can only serve them well as they move into the NCAA Tournament. Washington is in good position for an at-large bid to the NCAAs regardless of what happens on Sunday. Of course, they can guarantee their fate by beating Gettysburg for just the second time in the Centennial Conference playoffs.
Haverford now plays the waiting game. They’re in a good position for an at-large bid to the NCAAs, but if there are any upsets of teams ahead of them, their position becomes more precarious. The trouble today wasn’t their ability to create opportunities on offense or stopping Washington on defense. They controlled the ball well on offense, but some poor shot selection, nice play by Cohen, and at least three pipes all contributed to the hole they couldn’t dig out of. As the deficit became larger, there was a period where the offense struggled to even maintain possession. They also had to overcome a shutoff that Washington ran occasionally on defense where sophomore Andrew Kim struggled to get open. Defensively, Joel Censer played well matched up against Washington’s Read for most of the game. The Black Squirrels will be rooting for all conference favorites in their respective tournaments and awaiting the selections late on Sunday. Either way, the #9 ranking is a tribute to the successful senior class as the program’s highest ranking ever at the end of a season regardless of what happens in the seedings. The program’s first ever NCAA bid would be a good way top it off.
From Press Release…
GETTYSBURG, PA -- The fourth-ranked Washington College men's lacrosse team got 18 saves from junior goalie Gordon Cohen (New Canaan, CT/New Canaan) en route to an 11-6 win over ninth-ranked Haverford in the Centennial Conference Semifinals this afternoon on Gettysburg College's Clark Field. The Shoremen (13-2) improved to 19-0 all-time against Haverford and advanced to Sunday's Centennial Conference Championship game against third-ranked host Gettysburg. The winner of the conference championship game will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Fords (11-4) will now await word on a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Washington got on the board just 33 seconds into the game as senior midfielder Andrew Generazio (Springfield, VA/West Springfield/Bridgton, ME) scored off a feed from junior attackman Jimmy Kielek (Baltimore, MD/Archbishop Curley). The Fords knotted the score with 5:37 left in the first quarter on a goal by Max Hjelm. Haverford took a 2-1 lead when Dean Granoff scored off a feed from Jason Leeds with 1:53 to go in the period.
The Shoremen evened the score 59 seconds in the second quarter as Kielek caught a pass from junior midfielder Casey O'Connor (Crownsville, MD/Archbishop Spalding) and flicked the ball in from point-blank range. Freshman attackman Doug Herdegen (Baltimore, MD/Archbishop Curley) put Washington back in front with an unassisted tally with 8:58 remaining in the second quarter and Kielek quickly followed with a goal off an assist from senior midfielder Steve Humphries (Fairfax, VA/Hayfield Secondary) 15 seconds later to make it 4-2 in favor of the Shoremen. Washington's run continued as senior attackman Kolyn Kirby (Chestertown, MD/Kent County) netted an acrobatic score off an assist from junior midfielder Matt Moreton (Darnestown, MD/Northwest) with 3:45 left in the half to give the Shoremen a 5-2 lead at halftime.
Neither team scored in the third quarter until Kirby scored an extra-man goal off an assist from Kielek with 5:32 left. Senior midfielder Nick Gregory (Riva, MD/South River) pushed the lead to five goals with a score off a feed from senior midfielder Mike Sutter (Ellicott City, MD/Mount St. Joseph) with 2:49 to go in the third quarter, making the score 7-2. O'Connor the fired in an extra-man goal off a feed from Kielek to extend the lead to 8-2 with 33 seconds on the clock. Kirby provided the Shoremen's ninth goal of the game scoring off a feed from Kielek as time expired in the third quarter, giving Washington a 9-2 cushion.
Haverford ended Washington's eight-goal run when Mike Distler scored with 13:38 left in the fourth. Hjelm cut the lead to 9-4 with a goal off a feed from Granoff with 11:44 to go. Kielek put a stop to the Haverford spurt with an unassisted goal with 9:01 remaining. Moreton supplied Washington's 11th goal of the game with 5:23 on the clock. Hjelm scored for the Fords off a feed from Distler with 4:12 remaining to cut the margin to 11-5. Shane Hafer rounded out the scoring with a goal off a pass from Matt Handel with 1:43 on the clock to get Haverford back within five goals at 11-6, but the Fords could get no closer.
Cohen made his 18 saves in 54:37 of playing time, allowing just four goals before being replaced by junior Danny Walker (Ellicott City, MD/Glenelg Country School) late in the fourth quarter. Over the middle two periods, Cohen made 12 saves and allowed no goals. Walker allowed Haverford's final two goals.
Kielek paced the Shoremen with three goals and four assists, while Kirby finished with three goals as well. O'Connor and Moreton each had one goal and one assist in the victory. Jake Medlinger made 11 saves in goal for Haverford.
Hjelm led Haverford with three goals, while Distler and Granoff each had one goal and one assist. The Fords held a 41-29 advantage in shots and a 33-26 edge in ground balls in the game.
Sunday's Centennial Conference Championship game is set for 1:00 p.m.
|Jimmy Kielek||(3, 4)|
|Kolyn Kirby||(3, 0)|
|Casey O'connor||(1, 1)|
|Matt Moreton||(1, 1)|
|Andrew Generazio||(1, 0)|
|Mike Sutter||(0, 1)|
|Steve Humphries||(0, 1)|
|Doug Herdegen||(1, 0)|
|Nick Gregory||(1, 0)|
|Gordon Cohen||18 (0.818)|
|Danny Walker||0 (0.000)|