Press Release Writen by Sports Information Graduate Intern MaryKate Rumbaugh
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - A tough second and third quarter for the No. 3 seeded Wilmington University men's lacrosse team would lead No. 2 seeded Georgian Court to a 15-6 victory in the semifinal round of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon at GCU T&F Complex.
The Wildcats got out to a fast start, scoring the first goal of the game from Ralph Ruggiero just 1:46 into the game. Georgian Court would get settled, however, tying the game at 1-1 with 12:59 left to play in the first quarter, before scoring two back-to-back goals to make it a 3-1 game. Austin Wood would cut the lead to one, on a man up goal from Chris Smith, making it 3-2. The Lions would get one more with under a minute left to make it a 4-3 game heading into the second quarter.
Wilmington would have a hard time trying to find the back of the net in the second quarter, despite getting off 16 shots. Georgian Court would have seven in the quarter and take advantage of two Wildcat penalties, as they scored the final two goals before the half on a man up advantage to take a 7-2 lead into halftime.
With their last goal coming with 2:05 left in the first quarter, Wilmington would continue to struggle to score as the Lions would open the second half with the first two goals, extending their lead to 9-2. Senior Dylan McCleaft would finally give the Wildcats their third goal of the game to make it a 9-3 contest, but Georgian Court would continue to add another goal before the end of the quarter to take a 10-3 lead into the final quarter.
Down by seven goals, the Wildcats looked to go a run, but GCU would not let that happen, as they would open the quarter with three straight goals. WilmU would get another goal from McCleaft with 10:08 to play for his second goal of the game on a pass from Chris Smith. Facing a 10-goal deficit, Matt Browne and Sean Sheehan would give the Wildcats two more goals with under 17 second to play in regulation to give Wilmington their sixth goal, but the Lions would end the contest with the final goal to take the 15-6 win.
Dylan McCleaft had two goals on eight shots, as Chris Smith had two assists and 12 shots. Austin Wood had one goal and one assist, while Matt Browne, Sean Sheehan, and Ralph Ruggiero had one goal. Anton Mackey had one assist for the Wildcats.
Noah Given made 12 saves in goal on 26 shots, as Nice Rice had one save in the net.
The Wildcats had 50 shots to the Lions' 38, and also only 19 turnovers to GCU's 27 turnovers.
Wilmington finished its second season in program history with a record of 8-7 overall.