|Taylor Nelson||Mike Rufo|
|Kyle Frank||Dillon McInerney|
MADISON, NJ—The University of Scranton men’s lacrosse team whittled a 7-goal third-period deficit down to two before Drew University regained its composure and pulled away for a 15-9 victory in the semifinals of the Landmark Conference tournament Wednesday evening.
The Rangers will advance to Saturday’s championship game in Towson, Maryland, against top-seeded Goucher College, which downed Catholic University in the other semifinal game, 13-6. With the loss, Scranton ends its 2012 season with a 9-7 record.
Senior midfielder Sean McGowan (Milltown, NJ/Saint Joseph) and junior attacker Scott Humphreys (Newark, Del./Sanford School) finished with four goals apiece, freshman attacker Patrick Lamon (Severna Park, Md./Severn School) contributed two goals, and junior midfielder Steve Gentile (Franklin Lakes, NJ/Indian Hills) and junior defender Dominick Reda (Floral Park, NY/Floral Park Memorial) each had a goal and two assists for Drew, which won its eighth straight game to improve to 12-4.
Junior attacker Taylor Nelson (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) led the defending champion Royals with three goals and three assists and senior midfielder Mike Rufo (Broomall, Pa./Haverford School) and junior midfielder Dillon McInerney (Hawthorne, NJ/Bergen Catholic) chipped in two goals apiece.
Scranton, which held a 36-34 advantage in shots and which won 17 of 29 face-offs, also received a goal apiece from sophomore midfielder John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph’s Preparatory) and senior attacker Kyle Frank (Glen Arm, Md./Boys’ Latin).
The Rangers built up a 7-3 first-half lead, thanks, in part, to their ability to cash in twice on six penalties assessed against the Royals. It then appeared as if Drew might run away with it by opening up the third period on a goal by Gentile and two more from Humphreys to build up a 10-3 advantage.
Taylor then made sure the Royals did not go down quietly. He scored three goals during a 5-0 rally that cut Drew’s lead down to 10-8 with 7:38 left in the fourth period.
McGowan then sandwiched a pair of goals around one by Humphreys as the Rangers regained the momentum and took a comfortable 13-8 lead with 4:16 left.
In just his third game and second start of the season, freshman goalkeeper Chris Sumpter (Crofton, Md./South River) finished with five saves for Scranton while Drew’s Charlie DeSocio (Maplewood, NJ/Columbia) stopped 14 shots.
In just three seasons, Frank finished his career as the Royals’ seventh all-time leading scorer with 127 points (92 goals, 35 assists). With two goals tonight, Rufo ends his career as the 20th all-time leading scorer in Scranton history with 100 points (75 goals, 25 assists).