LYNDHURST, N.J. – Sophomore goalkeeper Pat Hemmer (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell) set a Felician University record with 23 saves and junior midfielder Ausar Wright (Pemberton, N.J./Ewing) did the same with five points, but the Golden Falcons were defeated by visiting Wilmington (Del.) University, 17-6, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference men's lacrosse action on Saturday night at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex.
The game marked the end of the 2019 regular season for both schools. Wilmington (8-6, 3-2 CACC) garnered the No. 3 seed in next week's CACC Championship tournament and will play event host Georgian Court University in the semifinals on May 2 during Day 1 of the inaugural CACC Championship Festival. Felician saw the second varsity intercollegiate campaign in program history come to an end.
Prior to the contest, Felician honored graduate student and defensive midfielder Danny Wallace (Little Ferry, N.J./Ridgefield Park) in a Senior Night ceremony. Wallace, a captain on the inaugural Felician squad in 2018, had one ground ball on the night.
Wright tied the school record he shares of four goals and added one assist for Felician's first individual five-point game. Sophomores Evan Turner (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Hills) and Anthony Hanratty (Hewitt, N.J./West Milford) also scored for the Golden Falcons (0-13, 0-5). Senior attack Dylan McCleaft (Media, Pa./Penncrest) paced Wilmington with six goals, one assist and five ground balls.
Felician led, 3-2, after one period. Wright's unassisted goal with 3:28 left in the first was the difference at the horn. The Wildcats tied the game 10 seconds into the second quarter when freshman Anton Mackey (Shohola, Pa./Delaware Valley) won the opening faceoff, scooped up the ground ball, darted down the field, and found teammate Austin Wood (Middletown, Del./St. Georges) for the finish.
McCleaft gave the Wildcats the lead for good at the 11:34 mark of the second, and a man-up goal by Jake Walsh (Wilmington, Del./St. Mark's) at 7:33 made it 5-3. Felician sliced its deficit in half when Wright fed Hanratty with 5:46 to play, but Wilmington's Sean Sheehan (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) found the cage 13 second later, and a McCleaft tally with 3:21 left made the score 7-4 in favor of the visitors at halftime.
The Wildcats piled up a 36-17 first-half shot advantage. Twenty-three of the 36 were on goal, but Hemmer kept the Golden Falcons competitive with 16 saves.
The Wildcat defense began to assert itself after halftime. Felician did not score in the third quarter, and by the time the Golden Falcons netted another goal, only 6:34 remained in the game, and Wilmington led, 16-5.
Hemmer had made 21 saves in a loss at Southern New Hampshire University on Mar. 4, 2018. He has two other 20-save games in his career, including one at Post University three days ago during which he played only 43 minutes.
Wilmington senior Chris Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) totaled five goals and four ground balls, while Wood finished with three goals, two assists and six ground balls. Mackey was 13 for 24 faceoffs and registered one goal, two assists, and six ground balls. Wildcat sophomore Noah Given (Middletown, Del./Appoquinimink) earned the victory in the cage, allowing four goals and making six saves in 45 minutes.
Felician freshman Jose McLean-Byrd (Bronx, N.Y./Mount St. Michael Academy) went 11 for 21 from the faceoff spot picked up a team-high six ground balls. Sophomore Noah Young (Staten Island, N.Y/New Dorp) posted four ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Team teams were whistled for a combined 17 penalties (10-7 Wilmington) totaling 16 minutes.