(Carlisle, Pa.) – The #9-ranked Dickinson men's lacrosse team held off a late run by #13-ranked Franklin & Marshall in the semifinals of the 2018 Centennial Conference Championship. The Red Devils and the Diplomats played another thrilling match in what has become an epic rivalry, with Dickinson coming out on top 17-16. The Red Devils turned in a total team effort with contributions from literally all over the field.
The #3-seed Diplomats came out strong, jumping out to a 4-0 start and led 6-2 at the end of the first quarter. Junior Jack O'Connell (Sands Point, N.Y./Westminster) capitalized on a man-up, scoring off an assist from Tyler Strods (Skaneateles, N.Y./Skaneateles) and Dylan Maher (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield) closed out the quarter with an unassisted tally.
The #2-seed Red Devils chipped away at the lead to start the second quarter, scoring twice in a span of just six seconds. Nick Goles (Monkton, Md./Loyola Blakefield) scored and junior Bobby Hartwick (Brookeville, Md./Georgetown Prep) cleanly won the ensuing face-off and went right to goal, cutting the deficit to 6-4.
F&M scored twice before the Red Devils closed out the half with a 7-1 run to overtake the Diplomats and lead 11-9 at the break. Five different players scored during the run with Maher and O'Connell each netting a pair.
The Red Devils continued the run, outscoring F&M 5-1 in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 16-10. Maher finished an assist from O'Connell at the 11:42 mark of the fourth to make the score, 17-11.
The Diplomats looked to rally but would come up short, falling 17-16. Junior midfielder Charlie DeMuth (Baltimore, Md./Gilman) came up huge at the end, taking a rocket to the stomach to block a final shot attempt and secure the win.
Senior Andrew Jones (Odenton, Md./Arundel) came up with a stellar performance as well, coming off the bench, just 2:27 into the game to replace an injured Cole Pellicano (Arnold, Md./Broadneck). Jones did not miss a step, immediately coming up with a clutch save. He would finish with 15 on the night.
Nate Usich (Avon, Conn./Avon Old Farms) had another strong performance in the midfield, controlling eight ground balls while Hartwick picked up eight GBs and won 25-of-33 face-offs.
Maher finished with six goals and one assist to tie Don O'Neill for the most points in a season with a conference-leading 79. He also leads the Centennial Conference with a school-record 65 goals on the year.
O'Connell finished with three goals and two assists while Goles added a hat trick and Strods struck twice, handing out a pair of assists. Bobby Barroll (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School) had a solid performance in the midfield as well, winning four GBs.
The Red Devils improve to 14-3 on the season. They advance to Saturday's championship game at top-seed Gettysburg College. Opening face-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm.