Gettysburg, PA – The Gettysburg Bullets won their fifth straight Centennial Conference Championship after a slow start that saw Washington take a 2-1 lead. Gettysburg exploded and scored eight goals in a row as they mounted a 9-2 lead that the Shoremen wouldn’t be able to overcome. The Bullets were led by the four-point days of Ben Sufrin and Zach Pucci, while junior goalie Zach Furshman played well in cage with 16 saves. Washington was led by three goals and an assist from Nick Gregory and three assists from Kolyn Kirby.
This looked like a potential upset in the making as Washington pulled ahead 2-1 on two Nick Gregory goals. The Shoremen were dominating the faceoff circle with four of five wins in the first quarter. Towards the end of the quarter, Gettysburg’s offense started to click. Gettysburg’s first goal by Joe Brody was waved off for a pocket that was too deep. He should have been penalized immediately because his hand went straight to the throat of his stick and clearly pulled something down. The refs didn’t see that or chose to ignore it, but as is standard on the opening goal of games, he received a stick check. Despite Brody’s efforts the referee pushed his pocket in and it was too deep. Gettysburg managed to survive the penalty and go on a legal scoring spree and shutout Washington for nearly 15 minutes.
In the second quarter, Washington hardly touched the ball as a 2-2 game methodically got out-of-hand. The Shoremen had no answer for Gettysburg’s offense which moved the ball crisply and took smart opportunities that they capitalized on. With 14 shots in the quarter and Shoremen goalie Gordon Cohen, who had been playing great as of late, only able to make three saves in the quarter, Gettysburg built a commanding 9-2 lead.
WAC would add two late first half goals to send it into the half with a slightly more respectable 9-4 deficit. The explosive second quarter led into the defensive third quarter that saw the fewest shots of the game in any quarter, the most combined saves by the goalies in a quarter and the most turnovers in the game in a quarter (Gettysburg’s three to WAC’s nine). The Shoremen’s inability to hold onto the ball in the third left a mountain to climb in a 11-5 deficit heading into the final quarter.
Gettysburg survived the desperate efforts of Washington to cut into the lead. Washington managed to generate 12 shots in the quarter with a varying degree of quality. As the final horn approached Washington tried to pepper the net, but Gettysburg’s Furshman stepped up with seven saves in the quarter and held Washington at bay. Furshman’s sixteen saves on the day were the most of his career at Gettysburg.
With the win, Gettysburg captured the Centennial Conference AQ to the NCAA tournament. The seeding tonight awarded Gettysburg the second seed and home games for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Their first game is Saturday against the winner of the Widener-Denison first round game.
Washington earned one of the four available at-large bids to the tournament and will take on ODAC champion Lynchburg on Saturday. If both Washington and Gettysburg win, they’ll meet for the third time this season just nine days from now.
From Press Release…
GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Gettysburg used a decisive 8-0 run that spanned the first and second quarters to pull away early, and the No.3-ranked Bullets captured their fifth-straight Centennial Conference title, defeating No. 4 Washington (Md.) College 12-7 Sunday afternoon at a sunny, breezy Clark Field.
With the win, the Bullets (15-2) receive an automatic bid in the NCAA Division III Tournament and will host a second-round game on Saturday. At a time to be announced, Gettysburg will take on the winner of the first-round game between Denison University and Widener University.
Gettysburg has now won the Centennial Conference title for the 12th time in the 15-year existence of the league and is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the 18th time. It was the second time the Bullets won five consecutive Centennial Conference titles, as they also achieved the feat from 1998-2002.
It was the eighth time in the eight-year history of the Centennial Conference tournament that Gettysburg and Washington met in the title match, and the seventh time the Bullets came away victorious.
Washington (13-3) received a NCAA at-large bid.
Balanced scoring did the trick for the Bullets, as nine players combined for the team’s 12 goals. Senior Ben Sufrin (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) led the way with two goals and two assists while junior Tom O'Donnell (Montgomeryville, Pa./La Salle College) scored two goals and handed out one assist. Senior Trip Dyer (Ocean View, Del./Worcester Prep (Md.)) added two goals, and junior Zach Pucci (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) scored one goal and distributed three assists.
Junior goalie Zachary Furshman (Miami, Fla./Kent School (Conn.)) also came up big for the Bullets, making a career-high 16 saves.
Nick Gregory led the Shoremen with three goals and one assist while Jimmy Kielek notched a pair of goals. Kolyn Kirby passed out three assists.
It was a nip-and-tuck affair early, and the scoreboard read 2-2 at the end of the first quarter. Gregory gave the Shoremen a 1-0 lead two and a half minutes into the game, and that held up as the score until the final minutes of the quarter. The Bullets appeared to have tied the game when sophomore Joe Brody (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) fired in a goal at the 6:39 mark, but he was called for an equipment penalty, as it was ruled that the pocket of his stick was too deep, disallowing the goal. However, junior Drew Duckworth (Rye, N.Y./Hotchkiss School (Conn.)) made up for the mistake with 3:53 on the clock, making it 1-1. Gregory answered with a man-up tally at the 2:14 mark, but O’Donnell pulled the Bullets even 55 seconds before the end of the period.
O’Donnell’s goal kicked off Gettysburg’s game-breaking run, and Dyer gave the Bullets the lead for good, converting a catch-and-shoot on an O’Donnell feed with 12:59 on the clock. Sophomore Kyle McGrath (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) and Brody followed up with a pair of goals 1:10 apart before Pucci hit Sufrin for back-to-back tallies, making it 7-2 with 7:27 left. Freshman Chris Cahill (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy) got into the act with 6:29 remaining with his fourth goal of the season before Pucci concluded the Bullets run, scoring off a Sufrin assist with 3:58 to go as Gettysburg stretched its lead to 9-2.
Washington went into halftime with some momentum, however, as Kielek scored twice in the final 2:49 to make it a 9-4 game at the break.
Gettysburg’s seven second-quarter goals tied for the team’s second-highest output in one quarter for the season. The Bullets out-shot the Shoremen 14-5 in the pivotal quarter.
Washington drew to within four (9-5) when Gregory punched in his final goal of the game, converting on a man-up opportunity with 9:35 remaining in the third quarter. However, that would be the Shoremen’s final goal of the stanza, as Gettysburg answered with three unanswered goals to put the game away.
Dyer and O’Donnell each scored even-strength goals to make it an 11-5 game after three quarters of play, and junior Rob Triplett (McLean, Va./McLean) took a pass from Pucci before drilling in a man-up goal to push the Bullets advantage to 12-5 with 12:07 left. Washington out-shot Gettysburg 12-7 in the final period, but that’s when Furshman came up with seven of his saves.
The Shoremen added two goals over the final 6:36, but it was too little too late. The Bullet defense blanked Chris Read, who entered the game with a team-leading 45 goals, until he scored with 33 seconds left.
Gettysburg out-shot Washington 38-35, but the Shoremen held a 35-28 advantage in ground balls and won 14-of-23 face-offs.
|Ben Sufrin||(2, 2)|
|Zach Pucci||(1, 3)|
|Tom O'donnell||(2, 1)|
|Trip Dyer||(2, 0)|
|Kyle Mcgrath||(1, 0)|
|Chris Cahill||(1, 0)|
|Rob Triplett||(1, 0)|
|Drew Duckworth||(1, 0)|
|Joe Brody||(1, 0)|
|Zachary Furshman||16 (0.696)|