Men's Lacrosse Clinches First Winning Season in Program History with 10-9 Triumph over Pace
Eddie Noonan goes for 2 goals and 2 assists for a four-point day
RINDGE, N.H. (April 28, 2012) -- The Franklin Pierce University men's lacrosse team made history on Saturday as the Ravens clinched the first winning season in program history with a 10-9 triumph over Pace at Sodexo Field in Rindge. Franklin Pierce concluded the season with a 7-6 overall record and an even 5-5 mark in the Northeast-10. The Setters dipped to 5-10 and 3-7 in league play.
Neither side could go on a lengthy run to put the game out of reach and the outcome wasn't decided until the waning seconds.
Senior midfielder Ryan Dintaman (Northfield, Mass.) broke a 9-9 tie with 4:27 remaining when he took a pass from sophomore attacker Eddie Noonan (Foxboro, Mass.) in front of the net and fired a strike which breezed past the paddle of Pace goalie Kevin Grady into the upper left corner of the goal. It was Dintaman's second marker of the game and it came during a man-up situation, which was the Ravens' first extra-man tally of the day after coming up empty on four previous scenarios.
Noonan was credited with an assist on the play as he logged a four-point afternoon (2 g, 2 a) to finish with a team-high 31 points on the year. He became just the 10th player in program history to record 30-or-more points in a single season.
Franklin Pierce came up big defensively in the closing minutes to preserve the one-goal lead. Freshman goalie Don Denman (Exeter, N.H.) made a huge save on a point-blank shot with just :49 remaining. Pace retained possession of the ball with :14 remaining, but the Ravens did not allow the Setters to fire off a potential-tying shot before the final horn sounded, thus allowing them to charge the field and mob Denman. The Ravens goalie improved to 7-6 on the season.
The Ravens concluded the season by winning three of their final four games. The seven overall wins and five conference triumphs are the most for a single season in program history. Franklin Pierce also defeated Pace for the first time in program history as the Setters became the third NE-10 foe this season that the Ravens knocked off for the first time (including Southern New Hampshire and Saint Anselm).
The other highlight of the day for Franklin Pierce was a three-goal, two-assist performance by senior middie Jimmy McInnis (Amherst, N.H.). His two helpers gave him 35 for his career, which set a program record for most career assists.
McInnis factored in on all three of Franklin Pierce's goals in the first quarter as the score was tied 3-3 after 15 minutes. He scored the contest's first tally 34 seconds in, and after Kevin Kadlick and William Scioscia dumped in back-to-back goals to put Pace up 2-1, McInnis knotted it at the 5:28 mark with another unassisted tally. McInnis fed Brendan Cahill (Hollis, N.H.) a nice pass, which the attacker took from behind the net, raced out in front of the goal and fired a shot that went low side to tie it at 3-3 with only :24 left in the period.
Dintaman and freshman attackman Kevin Dargin (Littleton, Mass.) threw in consecutive goals to open the second quarter and stake Franklin Pierce to a 5-3 advantage. Matt Mirabito and Kadlick countered with back-to-back goals for Pace to knot the score at 5-all, but the Ravens had an answer of their own as they scored three-straight markers to go up 8-5 with :49 left in the half. McInnis capped his hat-trick with an unassisted tally at the 5:46 mark and Noonan followed a little more than 90 seconds later with his first goal of the game. Cahill cappd the surge with a goal off a nice pass from junior Eric Harries (Dunstable, Mass.), who was making his season debut after battling injuries the entire year. The Setters, though, got back a goal with just :14 left as Matt Gebhardt beat Denman to cap the first-half scoring.
That goal sparked Pace in the third quarter as they scored the first two goals of the second half to knot the score at 8-8. Noonan, though, rallied the Ravens and put in a tally with just :33 left in the frame to give Franklin Pierce a 9-8 lead. Pace didn't fold and Mirabito put in a man-up goal just 31 seconds into the fourth quarter to knot the score. The game continued to be tightly contested before Dintaman's winning tally was thrown in with a little more than four minutes remaining.
Franklin Pierce held a 45-25 advantage in shots, including getting a game-high 11 from McInnis. Dintaman and Cahill fired off seven and six shots, respectively. Kadlick notched a team-high nine shots and scored four times to spark Pace's offensive attack.
The Ravens also held a 40-22 advantage in ground balls. Senior defender Alex Whitney (Stratham, N.H.) collected three grounders, while also causing three turnovers to give him 41 for the season. Junior defender Ben McDannell (Morrisville, Pa.) also caused three Pace miscues on the afternoon. Denman led all Ravens with seven ground balls collected.
Franklin Pierce finished in a three-way tie for fifth place in the conference standings with Saint Anselm and Bentley. Despite the high finish, the Ravens just missed out on making the NE-10 playoffs as the Hawks and Falcons each advanced to post-season play with tiebreaking scenarios. Franklin Pierce's fifth-place finish came just two months after the Ravens were tabbed to finish in 10th place in the NE-10 preseason poll.
For more information on Franklin Pierce men's lacrosse, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens).