Rangers Shut Down Royals In Second Half To Pull Out 10-8 Victory In Landmark Conference Action Saturday At Fitzpatrick Field

SCRANTON, Pa.—It was another close shave for The University of Scranton men's lacrosse team against Drew University in Landmark Conference action Saturday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field.

But once again it was the Rangers who came out on top, pulling out a 10-8 victory with a strong second-half defensive effort.  Drew held the Royals to just one goal in the final 30 minutes of play to erase a 7-5 halftime deficit.

The Rangers, who have won the last eight games in the series, including four of the last five by two-or-fewer goals, were led by senior attacker Nicholas Della Fera (Locust Valley, NY/Locust Valley) and junior midfielder Steve Gentile (Franklin Lakes, NJ/Indian Hills) with two goals and an assist each and sophomore midfielder Mark Barus (Jacobstown, NJ/Notre Dame) added two goals.  

The Rangers, now 6-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference, also received a goal and an assist from freshman attacker Patrick Lamon (Severna Park, Md./Severn School) and senior midfielder Sean McGowan (Milltown, NJ/St. Joseph) and a goal apiece from junior attacker Scott Humphreys (Newark, Del/Sanford School) and sophomore attacker Craig Wagenblast (Toms River, NJ/Toms River East).

Scranton, which had a three-game winning streak snapped to fall to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the Landmark, was led by junior midfielder Dillon McInerney (Hawthorne, NJ/Bergen Catholic) with a career-high four goals and junior attacker Taylor Nelson (Chester Spring, Pa./Downingtown East) finished with a goal and an assist.  

The Royals also received a goal apiece from senior midfielder Mike Rufo (Broomall, Pa./Haverford School), senior attacker Kyle Frank (Glen Arm, Md./Boys' Latin), and sophomore midfielder Matt Tibbitts (West Hartford, Conn./Conard), and two assists from sophomore midfielder John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph's Preparatory).

McInerney scored three goals in the second period to get the Royals moving on the offensive end after Scranton fell behind 3-0 in the opening six minutes and 5-2 late in the first period.  Tibbetts sandwiched a goal off an assist from Gregitis between goals by McInerney as Scranton opened up a two-goal halftime lead.

The Rangers drew event in the third period on goals by Barus and Humphreys and picked up momentum with back-to-back goals by Lamon and Gentile within 33 seconds of each other midway through the fourth period to take a 9-7 lead.  

Scranton, which went scoreless for 22 minutes in the second half, stopped Drew's momentum with a goal by Nelson on a picture-perfect pass from sophomore midfielder Mike Deliberti (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) to make it 9-8 with 7:56 remaining.

Royal junior goalie Ben Worthington (Jenkintown, Pa./Archbishop Wood), who finished with 10 saves, then came up with a key play after the Rangers won the ensuing face-off after Taylor's goal.  In a one-on-one situation against Humphreys, Worthington stopped a point-blank shot to end a potential Ranger scoring opportunity.

Scranton, however, committed a number of turnovers in the final six minutes and Della Fera closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal with 2:25 left.

The Royals held a slight edge in shots, 36-34, but Scranton failed to take advantage of six extra-man opportunities, including a two man-up situation early in the fourth period.

Scranton will return to action this Wednesday, April 4, against FDU-Florham in Madison, New Jersey, beginning at 7:00 p.m.