Westminster advances to Div. B club lacrosse semifinal

Westminster advances to Div. B club lacrosse semifinal

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Article By Dave Leach (CollegeLax News)

FRISCO, Texas (May 16, 2007) - As the progression through the bracket of the 2007 MCLA National Championships went on, No. 2 Westminster College Griffins collided with No. 7 Emory University Eagles. In just its first season in the MCLA, Westminster advanced to the semifinals by defeating Emory 12-9.

"I didn't think they were any better than us at all. The fact that it was so close a game throughout and that they're ranked as one of the best in the nation, we're proud of that," noted Emory head coach Dave Reed about the contest.

It took only 27 seconds for Mark Samra to find the net to put the Eagles up 1-0.

"Emory was ready to play," 2007 RMLC-B Coach of the Year Mason Goodhand commented.

Westminster retaliated 19 seconds later with Roman Schoewe scoring the first of his six goals on the day.

"Roman is one of those players I've known since he was in fifth or sixth grade," said Goodhand. "I always knew he was a competitor that would blossom at the collegiate stage, when he was challenged to improve his game. He's done just that."

The game was tied for only three minutes as it was just a sample of the much anticipated match-up.

Westminster immediately put two goals in the net in a span of two minutes to go up 3-1. The cheers from the Griffins' bench were deafening as they had three goals on their first five shots.

Emory, the 2007 SELC Champions, defeated Fort Lewis yesterday and aimed to make their intentions clear at the tournament. With three unanswered goals over four minutes, the Eagles were on fire with a 4-3 lead.

The two teams traded goals, but with two minutes remaining in the first half, the Griffins tied it up at six while simultaneously drawing an illegal body check on Emory's Stephen Crump.

On the extra man opportunity, James Brand gave Westminster a one-goal lead as he scored his second goal. A First-Team All-Conference selection, Brand scored 56 goals in the regular season. Brand's goal allowed Westminster to take a 7-6 lead into halftime.

It took just three minutes into the third quarter for the Eagles to respond. Paul Goleb recorded his first goal of the tournament to knot up the game at seven a piece.

Schoewe would later give his team a two-goal lead with back-to-back goals, his fourth and fifth of the game, to make it 9-7.

Brand scored his third for the hat trick and make it a 10-7 game in favor of the Griffins just a minute into the closing stanza.

Trading goals again, Emory pulled to within two only to have Westminster get another three-goal lead.

"We're a balanced team with a lot of contributing parties on offense. Every game we have someone else step up and make the play that we need," said Reed.

Westminster goalie Joseph Iliya was tested in the fourth quarter with nine saves being added to his total of 22 saves.

The teams traded goals once again as the score jumped to 12-9 with just over four minutes to go. In those four minutes, the Griffins dominated possession of the ball and allowed Emory to take only two more strong shots, both of which were collected by the Iliya.

"We hadn't played anyone for two weeks (RMLC-B Championship). We looked sluggish and lethargic," Goodhand said, "But what continues to impress me are the players that step up out of sheer will. Brett Bird was an example of that today. He hustled, got the ball when we needed it, and even contributed to the score."

Westminster advances to the semifinals on Friday where it will meet Montana at 11:00 am. Earlier Wednesday, Montana defeated Northern Colorado by a score of 13-8.

Next up, Friday, 11:00 AM CDT vs the Montana Grizzlies,(#3). The Grizzlies were a 13-8 winner over U. Northern Colorado earlier today. Click here form more MCLA reports.

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