BRYN ATHYN, Pa. – The Bryn Athyn College men's lacrosse team will play for its first conference championship after outlasting Hilbert College in a defensive 8-4 victory in the semifinal round of the North Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament Wednesday afternoon on General Ronald K. Nelson Field.
Bryn Athyn, now 9-6 overall after recording its program-record seventh straight victory, will take on tournament top seed Morrisville State in the tournament final on Saturday, May 5 at 5 p.m. on Morrisville State College's Drake Field. The winner will earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
In the regular season, the Mustangs scored three times in the fourth quarter to defeat the Lions 11-9 on April 4 on General Ronald K. Nelson Field.
Jon Carr led the Bryn Athyn offense with three goals—including his 100th career point. Riley Flynn found the back of the net twice, while Andrew Coyle, Nolan Frame, and Nolan Bosserman scored once. Cameron Leech had two assists.
Led by a 12-for-13 effort by Shane McCurdy at the faceoff X, the Lions won 15 of the matches' 16 faceoffs.
Carr scored the only goal of a tightly-contested opening quarter after receiving a pass from Leech at the 10:02 mark. The Lions outshot the Hawks (9-6) 10-6 during the opening 15 minutes but were stopped three times by Hilbert's Joseph Stevenson. Bryn Athyn's Brad DePasquale countered with three saves of his own.
The Lions found their offense in the second quarter, scoring the first four goals to widen the gap to 5-0. Flynn got it started as he scored just 56 seconds into the quarter for the team's second goal. Coyle followed up a little over three minutes later with an unassisted goal to make it a 3-0 contest. Carr's unassisted goal with 5:29 remaining made him the fourth player in Bryn Athyn history to record 100 career points. Frame capped the surge after burying a feed from Leech at the 3:40 mark.
Hilbert finally got on the board with a man-up goal from Marc O'Neill with 55 seconds left in the half.
The Lions' offense kept the pressure up in the third as they fired 15 shots at the Hawk net, but only scored twice. The goals—from Bosserman and Carr—were enough to expand the margin to 7-2 after 45 minutes of play. Anthony Coppola scored the Hawk goal.
Hilbert's James Duffy and Ryan Spath scored in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter to cut the Bryn Athyn advantage to 7-4. Flynn answered back with 4:29 remaining to put the match away and send the Lions to the conference final.
Stevenson finished the match with nine saves for Hilbert, while DePasquale ended up with seven stops. The Lions outshot the Hawks 43-25.