March 22, 2014

Fraser and Taylor Lead Firebirds to 13-11 Victory Over Post

WASHINGTON, DC – The dynamic scoring duo of attackers Chase Fraser and Ben Taylor combined for 11 goals to lead the University of the District of Columbia men's lacrosse team to a 13-11 victory over Post University (CT) at Georgetown Multi-Sport Field on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Fraser (Elementary Education – Aldergrove, BC/Blue Ridge School) set a new season-high scoring mark with eight points on six goals and two assists, and Taylor (Biology – New Westminster, BC/Simon Fraser University) tied his season-high of five goals – three of which came in a less than two-minute span nearly mid-way through the fourth period.

Junior goalkeeper Tom Yancheski (Sociology – Phoenix, MD/Harford) stopped 13 of 24 Eagles shots on goal to earn the victory. Anthony DeRosa stopped nine shots and allowed 13 goals in the loss.

The Firebirds, now 2-0 at home this season, improved to 2-4 overall. The Eagles, a first-year men's lacrosse program like UDC's, dropped its fifth straight game and fell to 3-6 overall with today's loss.

Post was led offensively by attackers Alex Brownlee and Kyle Shannon. Brownlee had a team-high four goals and Shannon registered two goals and two assists.

Brownlee helped the Eagles take off in the first period with the game's first two goals. The first came just before the 13-minute mark following a good clear attempt by Post, and the second came at the 10:09 mark following a UDC turnover.

Halfway through the period, UDC was awarded its first extra-man opportunity after a Post penalty at the 7:28 mark. Fraser capitalized for the Firebirds with an unassisted goal to put the Firebirds on the board at the 7:17 mark. Three minutes later, however, Shannon scored his first goal of the day to extend the Eagles' lead back to two, 3-1.

Around the 2:30 mark, junior midfielder Dom Perera (Business Marketing – Harlem, NY/Herkimer County) caused an Eagles turnover which was scooped up by junior defender Phillip Foster (Mass Media – Baltimore, MD/Dean College) near midfield, leading to a fast break and a hasty Post unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Firebirds were able to go 2-for-2 in the opening quarter on extra-man opportunities as freshman midfielder Josh Norton (Graphic Design – Eagle, Idaho/Eagle HS) made a terrific pass from behind the net to a cutting Michael King (Public Administration – Kansas City, MO/St. John's University) who fired from point-blank range for his 3rd goal of the season.

Brian Beatson looked as though he would put Post ahead 4-2 nearing the end of the first period when he shot from up close to the net, but a big-time save by Yancheski and a successful clear by the Firebirds allowed UDC to call a timeout and set up a final play before the end of the period. In the last possession of the quarter, freshman Quinton Pavan (Childhood Education – Port Coquitlam, BC/Blue Ridge HS) scored with 30 seconds remaining to force the game's first tie.

UDC took its first lead of the game when Taylor scored his first goal of the day, and the third consecutive in the game by the Firebirds, at the 13:25 mark of the second period. Then, following an unassisted goal by Post's Jack Kearney to force a 4-4 tie, Fraser assisted on a goal by Taylor and then scored his own to make it 6-4, UDC with 3:05 to play before halftime. But Post responded with two consecutive goals of its own as Beatson beat Yancheski this time at the 2:31 mark, and Brownlee followed up with his third goal of the day for the third and final tie of the afternoon, 6-6.

Once again, the Firebirds defense stiffened at the end of the period as Foster caused Shannon to turn the ball over as Yancheski picked up the ground ball right in front of the net. Following a good clear attempt (UDC was 7-for-8 in the second period), head coach Scott Urick again used a timeout to set up a final play before the buzzer. And a designed play for Fraser resulted in a Firebirds goal with 49 seconds remaining, giving UDC a 7-6 lead it would take into halftime.

Fraser went on to score all three of UDC's third period goals while Post managed only one goal in the period by Joe Greene. The Firebirds led 10-7 as the game entered the fourth and final period.

Still 10-7 with four minutes gone by in the fourth period, Taylor erupted for three consecutive goals  on assists by Norton, Foster and Fraser. His three goals came in a span of less than two minutes, and capped a 7-1 Firebirds surge over a timeframe of 21:36 that spanned the second, third and fourth periods and gave UDC a commanding, 13-6 lead with 9:13 left to play.

With under four minutes to play, Post mounted a late rally, scoring four goals in less than three minutes to pull within two, 13-11. But it was too little too late as the Firebirds held on for the program's second victory.

UDC has a week off before it hosts East Coast Conference foe NYIT on Saturday, March 29th at 7:30 p.m. under the lights at Georgetown Multi-Sport Field.