Crusaders Frustrate Royals, 7-4, To Move Into Saturday's Landmark Title Game

Taylor Nelson Ben Worthington
Tim Cleary Dillon McInerney
Alec Mikrut Matt Tibbetts

Box Score
Photo Gallery (courtesy of Dan Ceccacci)

Photo Gallery (courtesy of Emma Black)

SCRANTON, Pa.—Senior goalkeeper Will Torrence (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) made 11 saves and Susquehanna University clamped down defensively en route to a 7-4 victory over The University of Scranton in Landmark Conference men’s lacrosse semifinal action Wednesday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field.

The Crusaders jumped out to a 3-0 lead early, led by two at intermission, and held the Royals to just one goal in the second half to move into Saturday’s title game against the winner of tonight’s matchup between #4 Merchant Marine Academy and top-seeded and defending Landmark champion Goucher College.

Freshman attacker Connor Moran (Delafield, Wisc./Kettle Moraine) led Susquehanna, now 11-6, with three goals, including the dagger with three minutes left in the fourth period after the Royals narrowed the gap to 6-4 moments earlier.

The Crusaders also received two goals from sophomore midfielder Carmen Raroha (Voorhees, NJ/Bishop Eustace), one apiece from junior attacker Austen Lein (New Vernon, NJ/Madison) and senior midfielder John Kerrigan (Maple Glen, Pa./LaSalle College High School), and an assist apiece from Moran, Lein, Kerrigan, and freshman midfielder Jake Calder (Lutherville, Md./Dulaney).

Senior attacker Taylor Nelson (Chester Spring, Pa./Downingtown East) led Scranton, which ends its 2013 season with an 8-7 record, with two goals and senior midfielder Dillon McInerney (Hawthorne, NJ/Bergen Catholic) and junior midfielder Matt Tibbitts (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) added one apiece.  The Royals also received an assist apiece from senior defender Tim Cleary (Shrewbury, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) and freshman midfielder Alec Mikrut (Belle Mead, NJ/Montgomery).

The Royals shook off a sluggish first period and even the game at 3-3 with 7:54 left before halftime on an unassisted goal by Taylor.  Any momentum that Scranton picked up, however, quickly dissipated.  Susquehanna answered less than two minutes later when Lein gave the Crusaders the lead for good on a play set up by Moran.  Moran then made it a 5-3 by scoring with 1:14 left before intermission off of an assist from Kerrigan.

Scranton’s offensive woes continued in the second half before Tibbits finally broke through with eight minutes left in the fourth period to make it a two-goal game.  The Royals them committed a costly two-minute, non-releasable penalty with five minutes remaining, which allowed the Crusaders to eat away the time on the clock and set up Moran’s final score.

The Royals won 11 of 15 faceoff and held a slight edge in shot attempts, but the Crusader back line continually forced Scranton to take a number of low percentage shots.  

Senior goalkeeper Ben Worthington (Jenkintown, Pa./Archbishop Wood) finished with three saves for Scranton.  He finishes his career with 427 saves, the fourth most in Royals’ history.

With two goals today, Nelson finishes his career as the sixth all-time leading scorer in Scranton history with 133 total points (89 goals, 44 assists).


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