Kevin M. Neibauer
LaxPhilly– A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
The NCAA Lacrosse hot spot that is Philadelphia is presenting not one, not two but three Championship games. Cabrini, St. Joseph’s and now, Drexel Women all playing Championships Saturday and Sunday.
The #2 Lady Dragons of Drexel (11-7) welcomed the #3 Hofstra Pride (9-8) to Vidas Field in West Philadelphia for a Semi-Final matchup. Drexel lost a lead but waged a fourth quarter rally to walk away with a 14-10 victory. The win earned the Dragons a date with rival Towson, the winner gaining an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship tournament.
To the Action:
Taylor Mennella (5g) put Hofstra in front when she started on her 7th hat trick of the season with 1:14 played. Colleen Grady (3g,1a) started on a hat trick of her own with an unassisted tally for her 33rd at the 11:36 mark to tie the game. Mannella put home her 35th to retake a lead for Hofstra just 1:03 later.
Drexel went on a run fueled by Hayleigh Simpson (2g), Lucy Schneidereith (2g), Grady potting her 34th, followed with Allison Drake (2g) closing out the opening stanza.
After one quarter, Lady Dragons with the 5-2 lead.
Mannella nailed her second power play marker followed with Kate Fiola (2a) hitting a wide open Kerry Walser (2g). Drexel would get the third and final goal of the quarter with Corinne Bednarik (2g) getting her first of the day to take the combatants to the half with Drexel in front 6-4.
It took Grady just 0:47 seconds to notch her 35th goal of the season, making it a three goal differential, But senior Amanda Guerra (2g) had an answer for the Pride before Drexel went on another run.
Karson Harris worked a pass to Lindsey Dean (1g), Harris (3g,1a) started on the third hat trick on the evening. Allison Drake made it a 10-5 Drexel edge, but Walser stopped the run to end the third with Drexel seemingly in charge 10-6.
Let the Wildness Begin:
Hofstra said, “anything you can do, we can do” and unfurled a run of their own to even the score 10-10. Mannella hit for her 37th and 38th. Fiola then connected with Guerra, followed by a free position goal from Whelan.
The battle was looming with 8:07 remaining.
Drexel took the onslaught and decided they needed another surge. Bednarik, then Schneidereith put home a Grady set up, which gave Drexel the 12-10 edge. Karson Harris potted free position goals with 2:39, and 1:20 left in the game to provide the 14-10 final.
News and Notes:
• Drexel advances to the CAA Championship for the second year in a row.
• Faceoff will be at 12PM EDT and Drexel’s Vidas Field.
• For Hofstra, Katie Whalen moves into 6th place with 206 points in their history.
• Zoe Bennett had 5 saves for Drexel with Jess Smith turning aside 9 for the Pride.
• Shots were 33-26 for Drexel with on goal leaning the Dragons way 23-15.
• Turnovers were 11 for Drexel and 10 for Hofstra.
• Ground balls went the way of the Pride, 18-11.
Drexel Moves to Championship
Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.