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BUFFALO, NY - In only their second season of NEAC competition, the Hilbert College men's lacrosse team is heading to the championship game after they battled to a 20-17 semi-final victory over Medaille College under the lights at All-High Stadium tonight. The Hawks captured their first win over Medaille this season after dropping a 20-19 sudden-death overtime loss one week ago.
John Pingitore came through in a big way for Hilbert leading the Hawks with six goals and three assists, after missing the regular season game due to illness. Ryan Wagner padded his career total with four more scores and won 13 face-offs, grabbing a team-leading six ground balls. Brendan Kane added three tallies while William Wagner made six saves between the pipes after his focused teammate defenders fought off the late game push from the Mavericks.
Medaille scored the game's first three goals before Hilbert stormed back to tie it at 11:26. Hilbert built a two-goal lead but the Mavericks scored twice in the last sixty-seconds to force a 7-7 tie. Over the next 30 minutes, Hilbert outscored Medaille 13-5 and held a 20-12 advantage at the start of the 4th quarter.
Untimely late-game penalties hurt the Hawks and allowed the Mavericks to rebound with five unanswered 4th quarter goals. Time was on Hilbert's side and by the final horn, coach Schunke had already had his 'gatorade bath' on the Hilbert sideline.
The Hawks out-worked the Mavericks, holding advantages in shots (43-31) and ground balls1(8-13). Hilbert was 2 for 5 on extra man-opps while Medaille only converted on 3 of their 10 man up situations.
Hilbert's season (10-4) continues when they will travel to Keuka College, a 11-5 winner over Morrisville in the other semi-final game, on Saturday, May 4th for a 4pm face-off. The Storm earned the #1 seed in the NEAC play-offs after they went undefeated in league play (7-0).
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