Second-seeded Wheaton win first tourney game, advance to initial final since 1996
NORTON, MA- Sophomore goalkeeper Schuyler Horn (New Hartford, CT/Kingswood-Oxford School) made a number of big saves among his dozen in leading the second-seeded Wheaton College men's lacrosse team to an 11-9 victory over number-three Babson College in a Pilgrim League Tournament semifinal contest on Wednesday in Mirrione Stadium.
The Lyons, 8-8 after winning their fifth straight, hosted their first Pilgrim tourney game since 1998, picking up the program's initial conference tournament victory in five tries. Wheaton will take part in its first Pilgrim League Tournament title game since 1996 when it travels to top-seeded Springfield College on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with a berth into its first NCAA Tournament on the line. The Beavers end their season at 6-10.
Three goals were scored during the opening 4:56 of the first quarter, with Wheaton grabbing a 2-1 edge, before the offenses slowed down. Sophomore Drew Schaffer's (New Haven, CT/Loomis Chaffee School) marker 3:27 into the second made it 3-1, and Babson countered with two scores in a 1:41 span to knot the contest with 7:58 remaining in the first half. However, freshman Chris Landers (Manchester, MA/Proctor Academy) put Wheaton back out in front 45 seconds later. Despite being marked tightly, Babson sophomore long-stick Shane Farrell (West Warwick, RI) tied the game 2:14 before halftime, but Landers tallied with 32.3 to go to put Wheaton up for good.
By late in the third quarter, Wheaton had edged out to an 8-5 lead, but the teams fought through a frenzied first 2:25 of the fourth, and Babson trailed just 9-8. Junior Matt Enright (Bristol, RI/Milton Academy) scored 18 seconds after the opening draw before sophomore Tim Horan (Cheshire, CT/Cheshire) countered exactly one minute later to reestablish Wheaton's three-goal lead. However, Beaver freshman Armand Wilson (Fairfield, CT/Avon) found the back of the net 23 ticks after that, and Enright made it a one-goal contest with 12:35 to go.
From there, neither team scored for nearly seven minutes until Lyon senior Richie Rasamny (Redding, CT/Joel Barlow) scored on a man-up opportunity with 5:47 to go, and freshman Ben Cederberg (Duxbury, MA/Duxbury) continued to create breathing room for Wheaton 33 seconds later. Senior Jason Wellemeyer (Pembroke, MA/Catholic Memorial) tallied off of junior Matt Harrington's (Hanover, MA/Thayer Academy) third assist of the period with 3:31 remaining to bring Babson within 11-9, but the Beavers got no closer.
Landers and Schaffer finished with a hat trick apiece, while Rasamny turned in two goals and two assists, netting the game-winner while appearing in his program-record 60th career contest. He is now ninth at Wheaton with 114 points and became the fourth player with 60 goals and 50 assists. Cederberg also scored twice, while Horn made a number of point-blank stops, turning aside five shots in the first quarter and four in the fourth.
Enright and Wellemeyer tallied two goals and an assist apiece for Babson, while Wilson scored twice. Harrington turned in three assists, while junior Max Owen (Hamilton, NJ/The Pennington School) made five saves during nearly 42 minutes of relief in goal.