Williamstown, MA – Tonight the Ephs captured their first NCAA Tournament win by downing the Keene State Owls 21-10. Tied at 6 – 6 going into halftime, the Ephs mounted an amazing third quarter comeback- scoring seven-straight goals from Cory Lund, Jared Strauss, Alex Kitt, Michael Greenberg and Kevin Stump.
With the win Williams improved to 16-3 Keene State fell to 11-6. It was the first NCAA Tournament win in the history of the men's lacrosse program, which began play in 1928 and was eligible to play in the NCAA Tournament beginning in 1994. The Ephs will host St. John Fisher College for a third round game on Saturday on Farley-Lamb Field, taking on the Cardinals at 1 p.m.
The 16 wins sets an all-time single-season lacrosse program record, eclipsing the 15 wins accrued by the 1996 women's lacrosse team.
On a man-up opportunity in the first minute, the Ephs notched the first goal of the game. At 13:58, Brendan Hoffman ripped a bounce-shot into the back of the net after a feed from Jake Haase igive Williams a 1-0 lead. On another man-up play, Williams netted another goal after Jake Haase passed the ball to Cory Lund before he dunked the ball into the net. After drawing another penalty on Keene, Brendan Hoffman ripped a shot at the top right of the goal, scoring for Williams to give them a 3–0 lead.
Keene soon answered back at 9:42 with their first goal of the game after Shane Molloy scored. Three minutes later, the Owls scored another goal when Dave Wiedenfeld ripped a shot assisted by Michael Fritschy. At 5:11, Williams broke Keene's streak when John Hincks scored off an assist by Jared Strauss. Three minutes later, the Owls netted a goal to bring down the deficit to one goal after Michael Fritschy scored. With fifteen seconds left in the quarter, the Owls tied the game up at 4–4 when Dave Wiedenfeld netted one for Keene.
Keene scored the first goal of the second quarter at 9:16 when defenseman Travis Hamilton ran down the field and put one in the goal. Three minutes later, the Owls scored their fourth straight-goal after Dave Wiedenfeld placed the ball between the pipes to give Keene a 6–4 lead. At 3:05, Williams broke Keen's run of goals when Kevin Stump scored unassisted. Two minutes later, Kevin Stump scored again off a slam-dunk on an assist from Cory Lund to tie the game before halftime at 6-6.
Keene came out of halftime with an aggressive pace of play, scoring at 11:30 after Dave Wiedenfeld put one in the net off an assist from Gabe Cormier to take a 7–6 lead. At 7:17, Keene scored their second-straight goal after a crease-dive from Dave Wiedenfeld. Williams soon answered back just twenty seconds later when Noah McCoy passed the ball to Kevin Stump to set him up for his third goal of the night bringing the Ephs to within one goal. At 5:59 the Owls took back their two-score lead when Jordan Caito scored for Keene State. One minute later, Eph Cory Lund dodged and scored off a dunk to bring the game to 9–8 in favor of Keene. Soon after, Williams scored a second-straight goal when Jared Strauss scored unassisted to tie the game at 9–9. At 3:58, Cory Lund sniped the ball from goal-line-extended to give Williams the lead. One minute later, Jared Strauss dunked the ball off an assist from Jake Haase to put the Ephs up 11–9. At 2:42, Alex Kitt won the faceoff, ran down the field and scored to lengthen the Eph lead to three goals, 12-9. Twenty seconds after the Kitt tally, Michael Greenberg netted a goal and drew a penalty to give the Ephs a lengthy man-up opportunity. At 1:33, Eph Kevin Stump scored to give the Ephs a 14–9 lead going into the final quarter of play.
The Ephs used two goalies tonight. Sophomore Harry Gahagan had six saves and played 58 minutes while freshman Will Bock played two minutes. The Owls used one goalie this game. Chase Chamberlin had eleven saves.Keene scored the first goal of the fourth quarter at 13:09 when Anthony Marcella scored, bringing the game to 14–10 in favor of Williams. At 11:16, Kevin Stump scored off a feed from Jake Haase when Eph goalie Harry Gahagan amazingly cleared the ball from the Eph defensive side of the field. Four minutes later, Eph Brendan Hoffman ripped a goal from fifteen yards out, giving the Ephs a six-goal lead, 16-10. At 6:17, Cory Lund netted another goal for the Ephs, which was soon complimented with a goal from John Hincks to lengthen the Williams lead to eight, 18-10. Ten seconds later at 5:26, Alex Kitt netted his second goal of the night after winning the faceoff. With two minutes remaining in the game, Tim Saffold scored unassisted to give the Ephs a 20-10 lead. A minute later, Tim Saffold scored the last goal of the game unassisted after a great one-on-one dodge.
The Owls were led by Dave Wiedenfeld with five goals. The Ephs were led by Kevin Stump with five goals. He was followed by Cory Lund with four goals and one assist along with Brendan Hoffman with three scores.
Eph head coach George McCormack stated, "Tonight was a great second half comeback. We are excited to be hosting again this Saturday."