Union Upends Nazareth to Advance in NCAAs

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Visiting Union made its first NCAA Tournament appearance a memorable one Wednesday as the Dutchmen defeated Nazareth, 15-7, in the opening round of the men's lacrosse tournament at Golden Flyer Stadium.

Junior attackman Ted McKenna scored five goals to fuel Union's offense as the Dutchmen improved to 13-4 overall. Senior midfielder Scott Castle scored two goals and added an assist for the Golden Flyers, who finished the season 11-7 overall.

Union advances to Saturday's second-round match-up at Tufts (15-2), the defending national champion, at a time to be determined.

McKenna scored three times in the first quarter as Union surged to a 7-1 lead in the first 10 minutes. The score was tied 1-1 after Castle scored for Nazareth. Union answered with six straight goals to take control. Senior Joe Jacobs-Ferderbar scored for Nazareth with :06 left in the first quarter to make the score 7-2.

Union freshman Jonathan Andrews scored two of his three goals in the second quarter as the Dutchmen continued to expand their lead. Castle and Jacobs-Ferderbar each scored for Nazareth, but Union led 10-4 at the intermission.

Junior Nate DeLone opened the second-half scoring with his 30th goal of the season, but McKenna added his team-best 28th and 29th goals of the season for Union, which expanded its lead to 12-5.

A pair of fourth-quarter goals by freshman Collin Clark brought Nazareth to within 13-7 with eight minutes left, but Union responded with goals by Will Mahony and Pat DeBenedetto to close out the Golden Flyers.

Union had advantages in shots (39-32), ground balls (36-31) and face-offs (16-10) with defenseman Derek Witheford and face-off specialist Kyle Christine each scooping up five ground balls. Senior defenseman Mitchel Frey had five ground balls and three caused turnovers for Nazareth.

Sophomore Tim Doyle started in goal for Nazareth, but was relieved by junior Grant Williams in the first quarter. Williams had 10 saves. Sean Aaron played the first 56 minutes in goal for Union and had 10 saves. Jacobs-Ferderbar finished with two goals for Nazareth and a team-best 55 points on the season. He completed his career ranked fifth all-time in Nazareth career scoring with 192 points on 117 goals, 75 assists.

* * * *

PITTSFORD, NY Led by a five-goal effort from junior attack Ted McKenna, and 11 saves from junior goaltender Sean Aaron, Union (13-4, 4-2 Liberty League) earned a 15-7 win over Nazareth (11-7, 6-2 Empire 8) in the first round of the Division III NCAA Tournament. The win was Union's first in NCAA Tournament play. The Dutchmen are making their first appearance in the 31-year history of the Division III tournament.

Union will take on defending national champion Tufts in the second round on Saturday in Medford, Mass. Game time will be announced on Thursday.

"It was a great effort by the kids for being the first time in the tournament," said Union head coach Paul Wehrum. "It's a great way to get it started. It's unbelievable to be the first Union team that's been in the playoffs. The kids are working hard, and there's a lot of excitement around campus."

Union recorded its first win against Nazareth in three meetings with the Golden Flyers. The last time the two teams met was in the first round of the ECAC Upstate Tournament in 2008, when Nazarath recorded a 15-5 win in Schenectady. With 13 wins, the Dutchmen have set a new school record for victories in a single season.

"They're a great offensive team. (Nazareth head coach) Rob Randall played for me, he was an All-American for me at Herkimer and I couldn't be prouder of him," Wehrum said. "He's one of the finest men in lacrosse. Competing against him, now we're 1-1. The last time we played he beat us. For a school like Union, where we're working to build a tradition, this was big."

1 2    Next  »


Create a free lacrosse website