No. 25 Simon Fraser Upends No. 9 Michigan State 10-9
Event: Men’s Lacrosse
Site: Oxford High School (Oxford, MI)
Score: No. 25 Simon Fraser University 10, No. 9 Michigan State University 9
Record: SFU (7-4, 0-0 PNCLL Div. I North), MSU (5-2, 2-0 CCLA)
Next SFU Game: Sunday, March 31, 2013, 2:00pm EDT – vs. Davenport University – Grand Rapids, MI (Davenport University Turf Field)
OXFORD, MI (March 30, 2013) – Down 6-2 after 30:00 minutes, No. 25 Simon Fraser went on an 8-3 run in the second half, scoring the winner with just 0:07 seconds left on the clock to upend No. 9 Michigan State by a final score of 10-9. After striking first to open the contest, Senior Eric Ransom (Sherwood Park, AB / Bev Facey HS) was near unstoppable in the third quarter, scoring a natural hattrick and then adding an assist in the final frame to record a game-high 6 points, on 4 goals and 2 assists. Fellow attackman Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK / Evan Hardy Collegiate) also had a strong game for the Clan with a goal and 3 helpers, including an assist on the winning goal scored by freshman midfielder Andrew Branting (Duncan, BC / Cowichan Secondary). The 25th-ranked Clan continue to try and claw their way back up the polls, now having three Top 20 victories to the credit, with previous wins over current No. 17 Oregon State (11-8) and No. 18 Virginia Tech (11-9), to sit at 7-4 on the season.
Ransom and Spencer connected to open the scoring and put the Clan up 1-0 following a lengthy SFU possession to start the first quarter. Michigan State would find their legs midway through the period as senior Tyler Ryan (Grosse Ile, MI / Grosse, Ile HS) scored back-to-back, first at even strength on a midfield drive, and then on the man-up, to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead heading into the second quarter.
MSU would continue their run into the second frame as Ryan assisted attackman Mitchell Hall (Farmington Hills, MI / Farmington HS) to extend the Spartan lead to two at 3-1, followed by goals from midfielders Patrick Green (Stamford, CT / Westhill HS) and Spencer Martin (Grosse Pointe Park, MI / University of Detroit Jesuit) to put Michigan State up by four at 5-1. A Clan man-up would be just what was needed to stop the bleeding, allowing Ransom to find sophomore Sam Clare (Ladner, BC / Vancouver College) to reset the score to 5-2. MSU attackman Josh Nemes (Farmington Hills, MI / University of Detroit Jesuit) would add one more for the Spartans to cap-off a 6-1 run and reclaim a 4-goal lead heading into the break.
Simon Fraser would come out undeterred following the intermission, with Clare’s second of the game sparking a 5-0 quarter for SFU, as the Clan came storming back from being four goals down to turn the tables and claim a one-goal lead at 7-6 heading down the stretch. Junior attackman Frank Davalos (Moose Jaw, SK / Albert E. Peacock Collegiate) scored Fraser’s fourth goal of the game, followed by three straight goals by Ransom to give SFU the one-goal advantage.
Ransom continued to spark the Fraser offense in the fourth quarter, as he found freshman midfielder Matt Bailey (Richmond, BC / H.J. Cambie Secondary) to complete a 6-0 run and push the SFU lead to two at 8-6. Michigan State refused to let the Clan pull away, as this time it was Josh Nemes’ turn to put his team on his back, assisting Green’s second of the day, and then scoring consecutively to take back the momentum, along with a one-goal lead for the Spartans at 9-8. With the action now going end-to-end, Spencer rifled a pass from fellow sophomore Travis Hayes (Dublin, CA / Dublin HS) to tie the game at 9-9 and set that stage for a dramatic finish with under a minute left on the clock. MSU would win the resulting face-off but aggressive play by the Clan in transition would force a quick turnover, sending the ball towards the sidelines off of an SFU stick. Diving to save the ball from going out-of-bounds, Branting would keep it in play, batting the ball across the restraining line and into the attack zone. Senior attackman Colton Dow (Coquitlam, BC / Heritage Woods Secondary) would come up with the ball out of the scrum, maintaining possession just long enough for the Clan bench to call a quick time-out with just 0:16 seconds remaining. Running a set play, Spencer would find Branting in front of the MSU net, as a quick stick beat the Spartan keeper to give Simon Fraser the final lead of the game at 10-9. The Clan would tie up the ball on the ensuing draw to kill off the lingering 0:07 seconds and seal the come-from-behind win.
Senior Kyle Middleton (Nanaimo, BC / Woodlands Secondary) and junior Darren Zwack (Sherwood Park, AB / Archbishop Jordan HS) continued to split time in the Fraser net, each playing a half for the third straight game. Middleton made 9 saves, with 6 goals against (.600) over the first two quarters, along with several key stops to keep the game within reach, while Zwack played equally as impressive in the second half making 8 saves, with 4 goals against (.727). The goaltending tandem have been outstanding in the games that they have shared, posting a combined .649 save percentage in three straight wins over teams that qualified for the 2012 National Tournament.
Simon Fraser will conclude their Midwest swing on Sunday, March 31 as they take on No. 24 Davenport in Grand Rapids Michigan, before returning home to play Washington on Saturday, April 6.
Michigan State will now enter a stretch of Divisional play with three straight games versus CCLA opponents in Western Michigan on April 4, No. 22 Pittsburgh on April 6 and Ohio University on April 7.
For further information on Simon Fraser men’s lacrosse please visit www.sfulacrosse.com or follow the Clan on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fraserlacrosse.
SIMON FRASER (7-4) 1-1-5-3/10
MICHIGAN STATE (5-2) 2-4-0-3/9
GOALS: SFU: Ransom-4, Clare-2, M. Bailey, Branting, Davalos, Spencer. MSU: Nemes-3, Green-2, Ryan-2, Hall, Martin.
ASSISTS: SFU: Spencer-3, Ransom-2, Dow, Farrell, Hayes. MSU: Meyers, Nemes, Ryan.
– Despite a season-low 32 ground balls, Simon Fraser fought to make every possession count, adding 7 caused turnovers to their efforts.
– SFU also had to work extra hard in between the lines, winning only 26% of the game’s face-offs, going a combined 5 of 19 on draws. Clare 2/9 = 22%, Irwin 2/5 = 20%, Quon 2/4 = 50%, Wanzer 0/1.
SFU Head Coach Brent Hoskins
On Michigan State: “Michigan State is a very well rounded team. They really challenged us over a full 60:00 minutes and we needed to be at our best in the second half to pull out the win in the dying seconds.”
On Simon Fraser: “This was a great character win for us and we are really proud of the guys for how they battled through adversity and stuck together after Michigan State went on a run in the first half. Nothing came easy throughout the game and it took a lot of perseverance to put ourselves in a position to win when it mattered the most. All 32 guys stepped on the field today and contributed valuable minutes which makes this win most satisfying.”
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.