LAFAYETTE HILL, Pa. - - An 8-0 run spanning the second and third quarters carried Chestnut Hill past the Wilmington University men's lacrosse, 17-9, in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday afternoon at Plymouth Whitemarsh's Victory Field #1.
It was the program's first appearance into the CACC Tournament Championship game after reaching the semifinals in both 2018 and 2019.
Jake Copio scored with less than two seconds left in the first quarter to bring the Wildcats (5-4) to within 5-4, but then the top seeded Griffins (10-2) rattled off six goals in the second quarter and the first two of the third quarter to take command and lead 13-4.
The Wildcats started fast, as Logan Stinson and Jimmy Cava each scored in the opening minutes as the second seeded Wildcats jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Cava's went behind the back from in front of the goal mouth to score his goal in the early going.
After the Griffins got on the board, TJ Caton scored his first of the game with 8:32 left in the quarter to take a 3-1 lead. But the Griffins answered with a 4-0 run of their own, grabbing a 5-3 lead with 4:01 left in the quarter.
On the man-advantage, TJ Caton beat the clock with 1.8 seconds left, going into the mini break trailing 5-4.
But then the Griffins outshot the Wildcats, 19-6, in the second quarter, scoring six goals to open an 11-4 lead at the halftime break. Jake Miller made two saves for the Griffins in the second quarter to keep the Wildcats off the board.
Chestnut Hill kept the scoring going in the third, scoring the first two goals before Jake Copio finally stopped the run with his second of the game with 7:04 left in the third, but the Griffins held a 13-5 lead. The Griffins scored the next two goals before the Wildcats finished the quarter by scoring three of the final four goals. TJ Caton, Jacob Herman, and Copio all scored to end the third quarter, bringing the Wildcats to within 16-8.
Needing to score early and often in the fourth, the Wildcats had shots saved, blocked, off the crossbar, a pair went wide and a final shot by Austin Wood was again saved with 9:49 showing on the clock. Chestnut Hill would not give up the momentum down the stretch, scoring their final goal of the game with 5:39 to play.
Giovanni Marino snuck one underneath the crossbar on a wraparound from behind the goal to settle the score, 17-9, with 1:05 left in regulation.
Jaeden Henson led the defense with six ground balls while John Greene added five ground balls. Jake Mollohan caused two turnovers while adding one ground ball. Noah Given made 18 saves in goal for the Wildcats.