Wheaton Tops Men's Lacrosse 7-5 In Pilgrim League Semifinals
NORTON, Mass. – Junior Sean Doherty (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) tied his career-high with three goals to lead the No. 2 seed Wheaton College men's lacrosse team to a 7-5 win over No. 3 seed Babson College in the Pilgrim League Semifinals Wednesday afternoon at Mirrione Stadium.
Sophomore Harrison Bramhall (Barrington, R.I./Barrington) recorded 19 saves for the Lyons, who established a new program record with their 11th win of the season under first-year head coach Jamie Lockard. With the win, Wheaton (11-4) advances to the finals for the fifth time in the last seven seasons and will face No.1 Springfield, who was a 12-2 winner over fourth-seeded MIT this evening.
Freshman Matthew Hillman (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) notched two goals and an assist for Wheaton while senior Charlie Willauer (Duxbury, Mass./Proctor Academy) potted a pair of goals. Junior Jack Croasdale (Manchester, N.H./Kents Hill School) collected a team-high five ground balls, caused three turnovers, and picked up his first point of the season, an assist on Hillman's empty-net goal with 52 seconds remaining in the fourth.
Junior Alex Patinkin (Providence, R.I.) scored three times to lead the Babson attack, while senior Tom Mallon (Manhasset, N.Y.) had a goal and two assists, and sophomore Brad Bero (Carlisle, Mass.) scored once.
The Beavers led 2-0 after one quarter of play on goals by Mallon and Patinkin. Doherty scored Wheaton's first goal against Babson junior goalkeeper James Whalen (Westwood, Mass.) in 33:54 (dating back to their last meeting on April 18) 1:21 into the second quarter to cut the Beavers lead in half.
Babson held a 2-1 lead for the next 12 minutes before Willauer potted an unassisted goal with 1:05 remaining in the second to send the game into the break even at two. The Beavers held a 20-15 edge in shots through the first 30 minutes of play.
Wheaton outscored the Beavers 2-1 in the third to take a 4-2 lead. Doherty scored a short-handed goal at 11:03 to give the Lyons their first lead of the afternoon, then scored an even-strength goal at 6:34 to make it 4-2. Patinkin netted his second of the afternoon with Babson up a man with 1:28 to go to send the game to the fourth with the Lyons ahead by one (4-3). The goal snapped a scoreless drought of 34:44 for the Beavers. Bramhall recorded 10 saves in the frame.
The Lyons regained their two-goal lead on Hillman's 26th of the year less than three minutes into the fourth. Babson answered with two goals in 17 seconds to tie the game at five. Following a man-up goal by Patinkin at 9:45, first-year Phil Russo (Middleton, Mass.) won the face-off and fed Mallon, who hit Bero with a pass for his 17th goal of the year at 9:28.
Just over one minute later, Willauer tallied what proved to be the game-winner at 8:24. Late in the fourth and with Whalen out of the net for Babson, Croasdale send a long clearing pass from the left side of the Wheaton cage to Hillman, who sealed the win with an empty-netter with 52 ticks left on the clock.
"What we did today was pretty amazing," said Lockard. "Even though we were the No. 2 seed, I thought we were a bit of an underdog. We took that underdog mentality into the game today and grinded it out the same way we did the last time we played them. Babson has a great team, but someone had to go home today. Fortunately, it's us moving on."
Whalen made eight saves and collected a team-high seven groundballs for the Beavers. Russo picked up six ground balls and sophomores Ryan Dawidjan (Worcester, Mass.) and Cam Spofford (Merrimac, Mass.) each picked up five groundballs apiece. Dawidjan and first-year Christian Cattaruzza (Guilford, Conn.) each caused three turnovers.
Babson, who finishes its season at 10-7, outshot the Lyons 44-28, went 2-for-6 in man-up situations, forced 23 turnovers, had a 33-24 advantage in groundballs, and won 10-of-16 face-offs.
NOTE: Taken from a Wheaton College press release.