NEWPORT NEWS, V.A. (NEWS10) — Justin Hazard had four goals and two assists, three others had four points apiece and the No. 14 Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team held off a second half rally by No. 18 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) for a 19-14 victory in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in a game played at Christopher Newport University. The Cardinals improve to 13-5 and advance to play the host Captains, the No. 3 team in Division III, while the Engineers conclude with a 10-6 mark.
Trailing 15-7 with under five minutes to play in the third quarter, RPI scored four straight goals to pull within to 15-11 and then answered a Wesleyan tally with three more to get to within two, 16-14, with 4:55 remaining in the fourth. The Cardinals scored with 3:31 to go for a three-goal cushion and then twice more with time winding down for the final margin.
Senior Trey Froehlich led the Engineers with four goals and an assist and Ryan Raftery scored three times with an assist. Tyler Nalls also had three goals with Luke Murphy notching three points of his own, including a pair of assists. Joseph Perry made 10 saves.
Colin Hanley had eight stops for Wesleyan, which opened a 3-0 lead before Froehlich notched his first of the game with 4:16 to play in the first quarter. Tyler Campbell scored on the ensuing face off to make it 4-1 for the Cardinals and Wesleyan went on to build a 7-1 lead with 11:25 to play in the second quarter. Hazard and Alex Moynihan had two tallies apiece in that span with Hazard also picking up an assist.
Raftery’s first of the game made it 7-2, but a pair of Jake Sexton goals gave the Cardinals a 9-2 edge. RPI scored three of the next four goals – Froehlich, Murphy, Nalls and Devon Boyko – to make it 11-6, but Hazard scored with 49 seconds to play in the half and Campbell followed four seconds later for a 13-6 lead at the break.
Nalls and Wesleyan’s Matt Gill traded goals in the third before Garrett Volley went coast-to-coast and scored with the Engineers down a man for a 15-8 difference. That was the start of four straight for the Engineers, including a man-up goal from Froehlich off an assist from Rhys Zoldi.
Hazard set up CK Giancola for a 16-11 lead but back-to-back goals from Raftery and Froehlich pulled the Engineers to within 16-14.
The teams were evenly matched statistically with Wesleyan holding a slight edge in shots (50-48), shots on goal (29-22) and ground balls (30-29). Both teams had only three failed clears and one man-up goal.