No. 25 Simon Fraser Shuts Down Illinois 7-2
Event: Men’s Lacrosse
Site: Nike Park Sports Complex (Naperville, Illinois)
Score: No. 25 Simon Fraser University 7, Illinois 2
Record: SFU (6-4, 0-0 PNCLL Div. I North), UI (2-3, 0-0 GRLC)
Next SFU Game: Saturday, March 30, 2013, 4:30pm EDT – vs. Michigan State University – Oxford, MI (Oxford High School)
CHICAGO, IL (March 28, 2013) – Simon Fraser opened their three-game trip through the Midwest with a convincing 7-2 win over reigning GRLC champ Illinois. The Clan defense managed to shut down the Illini for the majority of the contest, backstopped by outstanding performances from both SFU goaltenders, who combined for a .867 save percentage on the evening. Senior Kyle Middleton (Nanaimo, BC / Woodlands Secondary) started the game making 7 saves with just 1 goal against (.875 GAA), followed by junior Darren Zwack (Sherwood Park, AB / Arch Bishop Jordan HS), who stepped in at the half, also holding Illinois to a lone goal, while posting 8 saves (.889 GAA) in the win. Fraser dominated the Illini in transition, as an aggressive ride led to a significant majority in offensive possessions for the Clan who now sit at 6-4 on the season. The win also marked Simon Fraser’s second of the year over an opponent who qualified for the 2012 MCLA National Championship Tournament in back-to-back victories, after dispatching defending SELC champ and current No. 18 Virginia Tech (11-9) two weeks prior (March 12).
Sophomore midfielder Sam Clare (Ladner, BC / Vancouver College) converted a pass from senior attackman Eric Ransom (Sherwood Park, AB / Bev Facey HS), to open the scoring and register his first of a game-high 2 goals, to give the Clan a 1-0 advantage early in the match-up. Freshmen Alex Bohl (Newmarket, ON / The Hill Academy) then finished a great look from fellow midfielder Chris Pond (Penticton, BC / Princess Margaret Secondary) to put Fraser ahead 2-0. Illinois attackman Colin Chatten (Grayslake, IL / Grayslake North HS) got the Illini on the board to end the first quarter with a score of 2-1.
The two teams would continue to trade chances throughout the second frame but Illinois keeper Matt Walker (Clarendon Hills / Hinsdale Central) equaled the play of Middleton over the duration of the quarter, holding all shooters off of the scoresheet to keep it a one-goal game at 2-1 heading into the intermission.
Simon Fraser would begin to find their legs out of the break, as Ransom found first-year midfielder Jordan Stroup cutting through the middle following a Clan man down to start the quarter and reset the score to 3-1. Junior Brendan Farrell (Milton, ON / St. Michael’s College) continued the Clan run, scoring on an outside shot, down the alley, followed by attackman Colton Dow (Coquitlam, BC / Heritage Woods Secondary) on the fast break, to extend the SFU lead to four at 5-1. Illinois midfielder Ryan Walker (Flossmoor, IL / Homewood Flossmoor HS) was the only Illini player to beat Zwack in the second half, closing the score to 5-2, before Clare scored his second of the game to give the Clan a 6-2 lead down the stretch.
The fourth would be another quiet quarter on the scoreboard, as Ransom cashed-in a cross-crease pass from fellow attackman Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK / Evan Hardy Collegiate) to cap-off a game leading three-point effort. The Clan defense lead by the quartet of sophomores Bayne Bosquet (Coldstream, BC / Kalamalka Secondary) and Mark Hilker (Bowmanville, ON / Clarington Central Secondary), junior Tommy Newton (Saskatoon, SK / Aden Bouwman Collegiate) and freshman Alex Thomson (Coquitlam, BC / Gleneagle Secondary) continued to lock down Fraser’s defensive end the rest of the way, holding the Illini to just 2 goals on the night to earn the 7-2 victory.
SFU will now take a day-off to travel cross state to Michigan where they will play consecutive games versus No. 9 Michigan State and No. 24 Davenport. Illinois will also be back in action this Saturday as they host Illinois State in their first GRLC Conference match-up of the season.
SIMON FRASER (6-4) 2-0-4-1/7
ILLINOIS (2-3) 1-0-1-0/2
GOALS: SFU: Clare-2, Bohl, Dow, Farrell, Ransom, Stroup. UI: Chatten, Walker.
ASSISTS: SFU: Ransom-2, Pond, Spencer. UI: None recorded.
– Simon Fraser picked-up 45 groundballs. Junior LSM Riley Wanzer (Mukilteo, WA / Kamiak HS) led the Clan with 5, in addition to several caused turnovers, followed by Sam Clare and Eric Ransom, who each had 4.
– SFU won 58% of the game’s face-offs, going a combined 7 of 12. Clare 4/6 = 67%, Irwin 2/5 = 40%, Quon 1/1 = 100%.
– Freshman midfielder Jordan Stroup registered the first the first point of his collegiate career with a goal in the third quarter.
SFU Head Coach Brent Hoskins
On Illinois: “[Illinois Goaltender] Walker played fantastic and really gives Illinois a chance to win anytime he is between the pipes. Overall they are pretty strong defensively, with some good talent up front, keeping the Illini as the favorite to come out of the GRLC. We almost had to cancel this game due to snow earlier in the week in Champagne, so special thanks to Coach Coughlin, the GRLC Executive and Officials crew for pulling this game off!”
On Simon Fraser: “Our offense gets us a lot of wins but tonight’s victory definitely goes to our defense and goaltenders, who all played outstanding. We were also very happy with our ride tonight, which really allowed us to control the game in transition and earn the extra possessions that we needed. Offensively we ran into a great goaltender and needed to be better in generating more quality chances, but at the end of the day, we still got the goals that we needed to walk away with the win. This is a big trip for us, and it was key to head into the weekend with an important win under our belts so we are happy that we achieved that and are looking forward to continuing to take steps forward.”
ABOUT SIMON FRASER MEN’S LACROSSE
Simon Fraser University Men’s Lacrosse will compete in its eighteenth season in 2013 and is a Division I member of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA). The Clan have captured a record eight PNCLL Conference Titles (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2008 and 2009) and rank sixth all-time with ten MCLA National Championship tournament appearances, placing 2nd in 1999 and playing in the 2010 MCLA Semi-Finals after reaching the Quarterfinals in 2008 and 2009.
Simon Fraser University is Canada’s top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.