Men's Lacrosse Falls In NCAA Title Game

May 29, 2005

5/29/05 - Middlebury lost an 11-10 heart-breaker to <?xml:namespace prefix = "st1" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Salisbury in the 2005 NCAA men's lacrosse championship game. The contest was played before an NCAA record crowd of 20,803 in at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Middlebury looked strong in the first quarter, despite trailing 3-2 at the end of the session. Henry Sheehan and Jim Cabrera both had great shots stuffed early on by Salisbury goalkeeper Dan Korpon. Chris Phillips opened the scoring for the Sea Gulls at 11:37, followed by a goal from Eric Bishop on the man-up at 10:30. Cabrera put Middlebury on the board as he drove to the left side and spun towards the goal before hitting the top far corner. Casey Olejniczak gave Salisbury a 3-1 lead with a bouncing shot at the 2:37 mark of the quarter. Mark Foster made it a one-goal game with 1:13 left as Dave Leach circled the net before finding Foster open from 15 feet away. The Panthers held a 15-9 shot and a 17-7 ground balls advantage at the end of the quarter.

Salisbury took a 4-2 lead with a bouncing shot from Jimmy Creighton at the 8:52 mark of the second period. Middlebury came back with a pair of goals in 46 seconds to tie the game at four. Sheehan netted the first goal after circling the net and tucking a shot under the far post. Nick Bastis tied the game at 7:05 from an impossible angle on the left side. The Sea Gulls regained the lead at 5:49 on a goal from Mike Edwards, only to have Sheehan tied it up 42 seconds later with a low shot after circling the net. The half ended 5-5 with Middlebury leading in shots (22-16), ground balls (29-17) and face-offs (9-3).

Justin Smith and Matt Dasinger gave Salisbury a 7-5 lead with 9:22 remaining in the third quarter. A goal from Aaron Herter, followed by a goal from face-off man Peter Mellen in transition 29 seconds later tied the game at seven with 4:54 left in the third quarter. Middlebury took its first lead of the game with 28 seconds left as Cabrera found Bastis down low before a quick fake and a shot gave the Panthers an 8-7 advantage after three quarters.

Middlebury took its second lead of the game with 10:20 left on the third goal of the game from Bastis, as he scored from close range driving to the net. Dave Leach gave Middlebury a 10-8 lead at 8:48 as he scored with a rocket from the right side. Unfortunately for the Panthers, that would be their final goal as Salisbury scored three times in the game's final 5:24 to pick up an 11-10 win. Mike Hurley scored a man-up goal at 5:24, while Jimmy Creighton tied the game at 10 with 4:01 left to play. Both teams had possessions down the stretch, with Salisbury taking possession at the 2:33 mark. The Sea Gulls ran the clock down and took a time out, setting up Chris Phillips' game-winner with just five seconds remaining.

Middlebury led on the statistical scoreboard, leading in shots (39-33), ground balls (50-37) and face-offs (18-6). Bastis led the Panthers with three goals, while Sheehan added a pair. Leach and Cabrera had a goal and an assist apiece. Mellen dominated the face-off category, winning 14 of 19 on the afternoon. Alex Palmisano was solid in net, ending the day with eight saves.

Date: May 29, 2005 - 12:00 p.m.

Venue: Lincoln Financial Field - Site: Philadelphia, Pa.

TEAM  1  2  3  4  OT  F

Salisbury (20-0)  3  2  2  4  -  11

Middlebury (17-1)  2  3  3  2  -  10

Middlebury Scoring: Nick Bastis 3-1, Henry Sheehan 2-0, Dave Leach 1-1, Jim Cabrera 1-1, Aaron Herter 1-0, Mark Foster 1-0, Peter Mellen 1-0, Jamie Duke 0-1.

Salisbury Scoring: Mike Hurley 1-2, Jimmy Creighton 2-0, Chris Phillips 2-0, Eric Bishop 1-1, Dan Boyer 0-2, Justin Smith 1-0, Casey Olejniczak 1-0, Mike Edwards 1-0, Matt Dasinger 1-0, Jeff Bigas 1-0.

Shots: Midd. 39, Salisbury 33

Man-Up: Midd. 0/1, Salisbury 2/6

Face-offs: Midd. 18, Salisbury 6


M-Alex Palmisano (60 mins., 8 saves,  11 GA)

S-Dan Korpon (60 mins., 12 saves, 10 GA)