SALEM, VA--The Roanoke College men's lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals for the second consecutive season with a 13-12 win at #2 Gettysburg on Wednesday afternoon. The Maroons improve to 15-2 overall on the season, tying a school record for wins in a season and extending the school-record winning streak to 14 games. The Bullets have their season come to an end with a 17-2 overall mark. The win was the second, in two meetings, for the Maroons over the Bullets in NCAA play. The first was a 16-15 decision in the quarterfinals of the 1992 playoffs.
Wednesday's contest came down to the thrilling final moments of the fourth quarter. Leading 13-12 with less than a minute to play, the Maroons were attempting to run out the clock, but turned the ball over. On the Gettysburg clear, the Maroons were flagged for offsides. After a Gettysburg timeout with 35 seconds to play, the Bullets worked the ball around the box until it got to the left side, goal line extended. An attempted crosse crease pass was batted down by Maroon senior Ben Love. The loose ball went to Roanoke goalie Matt Madalon. Roanoke was able to run out the final 10 seconds to seal the win.
The game came down to the close finish only after the Bullets scored the final two goals to make the score 13-12. Leading 11-10 midway through the fourth, the Maroons got back-to-back unassisted goals from Jon Mason and Chaz Carlson to take a 13-10 lead. Both goals came on moves from behind the cage.
Just 45 seconds after the Carlson goal, Jared Harriman scored an unassisted goal, backing in on the crease, to make the score 13-11. Gettysburg senior Chris Renzi won the ensuing face-off, dodged a defender down the right side and scored seven second later to make it a one-goal game.
The Bullets opened the scoring in the game, getting a goal from Harriman just under 1:30 into the game. Chris Keating answered for the Maroons just over a minute later, beating a defender from goal line extended. Neither team was able to score for the next 10 minutes, but Maroon freshman Chaz Carlson gave the Maroons the lead for good on a one-on-one goal with 2:43 left. Keating then gave the Maroons a two-goal lead on a behind-the-back finish of a Zach Thomas pass. The Maroons ran time off the clock late in the first and with just 2.2 seconds left Thomas finished a Scott Pattison pass and the Maroons led 4-1 after one.
Gettysburg's Trip Dyer finished back-to-back shots to bring the Bullets to within one goal early in the second, but Roanoke scored the final three goals, two from Thomas and one from Pat Hurley on a move from the top of the box, and the Maroons went ahead 7-3 at the break.
Like they did in the second period, the Bullets scored the first two goals of the third quarter to make the score 7-5 with 11:09 left. Matt Duke and Keating gave the Maroons back their four goal cushion, but again the Bullets had an answer and with 6:58 left got to within 9-7. Carlson scored the third of his four goals with 3:45 left in the third to gave the Maroons a 10-7 lead after three.
Madalon made 19 saves for the Maroons and for the second game in a row, yielded part of the 60 minutes of action to sophomore Drew Bowers. Bowers saw the field twice, once to spell an injured Madalon, the second time to play between the pipes when Madalon was whistled for a penalty. Bowers made a save in his first action of the game.
Keating and Thomas each scored three goals, with Thomas adding an assist. Pattison finished the day with two assists, while Duke scored once and assisted on another goal.
The Maroons travel to Salisbury, Md. for the second consecutive season to play #1 Salisbury in the semifinals. The Maroons and Sea Gulls will play on Sunday, May 21st at 1 p.m.