|Matt Finor||Chris Sumpter|
|Pat Farrell||Tim Cleary|
|Ryan Millard||Dillon McInerney|
Photo Gallery (courtesy of Dan Ceccacci)
SCRANTON, Pa.—The University of Scranton men’s lacrosse team left nothing to chance in its Landmark Conference regular-season finale against Catholic University Saturday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field.
The Royals not only needed a win to qualify for the Landmark tournament, but they needed to do so by three-or-more goals in order to win the tiebreaker with Catholic and Susquehanna University in the battle for the final two spots.
Behind a dominating performance by freshman face-off specialists Matt Finor (Churchville, Pa./Council Rock South), a 7-save effort from freshman goalkeeper Chris Sumpter (Crofton, Md./South River), and a combined 7-goal, 4-assist effort from senior midfielder Mike Rufo (Broomall, Pa./Haverford School) and junior midfielder Dillon McInerney (Hawthorne, NJ/Bergen Catholic), Scranton dismantled the Cardinals, 13-7.
The Royals bolted out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, built up a 9-2 halftime lead, and were never seriously threatened in the second half. With the win, Scranton improves to 9-6 overall and 3-3 in the Landmark Conference.
Finor kept Scranton in control throughout the game by winning 17 of 21 face-off attempts and Sumpter, making the first start of his career in just his second game in goal, got plenty of help from defenders Pat Farrell (Jamison, Pa./St. Joseph’s Preparatory), Tim Cleary (Shrewsbury, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) and Ryan Millard (Long Valley, NJ/West Morris Central). This trio continually frustrated the Cardinals on the offensive end of the field, limiting them to only 10 shots in the first half and pressuring them into 16 turnovers for the game.
The Royals, who held a 51-25 advantage in shots, also received two goals apiece from junior attacker Taylor Nelson (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) and senior attacker Kyle Frank (Glen Arm, Md./Boys’ Latin) and one each from sophomore midfielder John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph’s Preparatory) and senior midfielder Matt Glenn (Jamison, Pa./Central Bucks East).
Scranton also took advantage of the penalty-prone Cardinals, converting 4 of 8 extra-man opportunities.
Catholic, which fell to 9-5 overall and 3-3 in the Landmark Conference, was led by sophomore midfielder Sean Cummins (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) with two goals.
The Royals are now the number three seed and will face Drew University this Wednesday, May 2, in Madison, New Jersey, while Catholic, the number four seed, will meet top-seeded Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. The winners advance to next Saturday’s championship game at the site of the highest seed remaining, with the eventual champion earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championships. Scranton is defending Landmark Conference champion.