#7 Stevens Downs Ithaca, Clinches E8 Second Seed

HOBOKEN, N.J. (April 30, 2011) No. 7 Stevens defeated Ithaca, 17-5, on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at the De Baun Athletic Complex in Hoboken, N.J. The win is the first for the Ducks over the Bombers in four years in the Empire 8, and it locked up the second seed in the upcoming Empire 8 tournament on May 7 and 9.

Stevens, which finishes the regular season with an overall record of 15-1, was led by 12 saves from junior goalkeeper Eric Yando (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and seven points from senior Chris Laurita (South Brunswick, N.J.).

Stevens honored its seniors prior to Saturday's game and the seniors on the defensive side of the ball set the tone early, holding Ithaca scoreless for the first 20:36 of game time. Senior defenders Zach McHugh (Delray Beach, Fla.) and Ted Pfeifer (Crozet, Va.), senior long-stick midfielder Jacob Messimer (Rush, N.Y.), along with junior defender Matt Marks (Cortland, N.Y.) were superb all game long for Stevens.

In those 20 minutes, Stevens was able to tally four times to take a 4-0 lead. Junior Alex Hofrichter (Terrance Park, Ohio), freshman Christian Saley (Montville, N.J.), junior Kevin Rose (Garden City, N.Y.), and Laurita all found the back of the net to stake the Ducks to the early advantage.

Ithaca cut the lead in half with two scores but the Ducks notched the final three goals of the half to take a 7-2 lead into intermission. Hofrichter scored twice and senior Brandon Faubert (Virginia Beach, Va.) once in the second-quarter run.

Ithaca was able to score three of the second half's first five goals to cut the Stevens lead to four (9-5) with 14:02 remaining, the Ducks slammed the door shut and exploded for eight markers over the final 12:37 of game time for the final margin.

Faubert, Laurita, and sophomore Nicolas Philippi (Mullica Hill, N.J.) all found the back of the net over a span of just 1:18 to push the lead back to seven. Faubert's fourth tally of the game pushed the edge to eight, and Laurita notched three of the Ducks' final four goals to end the game, with junior Rich Dupras (Hillsborough, N.J.) recording the other as the Ducks cruised to the 12-goal win.

The highest scoring offense in the nation eclipsed the 15-goal plateau for the 13th time this season and won by 10-plus scores for the 10th time.

Ithaca was led by three points (two goals, one assist) from sophomore Adam Wacenske (Rochester, N.Y.) and one goal and one helper from senior Jay Lucas (Bedford Hills, N.Y.).

Stevens was led by five goals and two assists from Laurita, four goals and two helpers from Faubert, and four goals and one assist from Hofrichter. Philippi, Rose, Saley, and Dupras all had one goal on the afternoon.

Junior Michael Steinhauser (Boonton Township, N.J.) was solid once again in the face-off circle, winning 13 of the 22 he took and picking up a game-high nine ground balls. As a team, Stevens won 14 of 24 face-offs. Marks and McHugh had three and two caused turnovers, respectively, and each picked up two ground balls, while Messimer had two ground balls and a caused turnover. Sophomore Brian Seldeen (Mahwah, N.J.) was solid with four ground balls.

Stevens, which dominated possession throughout, ended with a 49-37 advantage in shots and a 23-20 edge in ground balls. Yando had 12 saves, while Bomber goalkeeper David Gal (Amherst, Mass.) had 10. Stevens was 18 for 18 on clear attempts and Ithaca was 18 for 19. The Ducks scored on two of their five man-up chances.

Stevens will host a Empire 8 Championship semifinal on Friday at 4:00 p.m. against either Ithaca College or Nazareth College. The Ducks are the second seed in the tournament and Rochester Institute of Technology is the No. 1 seed.


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