Recap | Box Score
Bramhall's career afternoon helps Lyons down Babson 8-7
NORTON, Mass. – Sophomore Harrison Bramhall (Barrington, R.I./Trinity Pauling) made a career-high 24 saves to lead to Wheaton College men's lacrosse team to an 8-7 win over Babson College in Pilgrim League lacrosse action Wednesday afternoon at Mirrione Stadium.
Seniors Mike Harrington (Sturbridge, Mass./Bancroft School) and Charlie Willauer (Duxbury, Mass./Proctor Academy), along with freshman Matthew Hillman (Brookline, Mass./Brookline), each scored two goals while Hillman dished out three assists as the Lyons (8-3, 3-0 Pilgrim) won their sixth-straight game, which ties the second-longest winning streak in program history (1996, 2009). Wheaton has now won seven of the last eight meetings against Babson (8-5, 2-1 Pilgrim).
The two teams were locked in a defensive battle through the first 13 minutes of the contest before the Lyons potted two goals in 25 seconds to take a 2-0 lead. Harrington took a feed from junior Sean Doherty (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) and buried his 17th of the year with 1:58 left in the opening quarter, then scored his 18th off a pass from Smith at 1:33.
Babson pulled to within one with 6:27 left in the second on an unassisted marker from junior Mike Griffin (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury). Less than four minutes later, the Lyons responded as Smith netted his 19th with the assist going to Hillman. The Beavers finished the first half with a 22-11 edge in shots and caused 18 turnovers. Bramhall had 11 saves through 30 minutes of action.
Senior Tom Mallon (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) opened the third quarter scoring when he converted a feed from senior Cam Caruso (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) into his 22nd goal of the season to bring Babson to within one (3-2). Willauer and Shields responded with goals at 9:15 and 8:07, respectively, to push the Lyons lead at three at 5-2.
Following Mallon's second of the quarter at 5:13, the Lyons ripped off three-straight goals to move in front 8-3. Smith and Hillman scored 12 seconds apart before Hillman's second of the afternoon and 22nd of the year at 2:18 gave Wheaton its largest lead of the afternoon.
Following Hillman's marker, Babson tightened up defensively and did not allow another goal for the remaining 17:27. Offensively, sophomore Brad Bero (Carlisle, Mass./Middlesex School) tallied his 15th with 1:03 remaining in the third before a man-up goal by Griffin with 16 ticks on the clock send the game into the final stanza with Wheaton ahead by two.
In the fourth quarter, a goal by Mallon at 13:55 and another from Bero at 10:15 brought the Beavers to within one. Babson outshot the Lyons 14-5 over the final 15 minutes, but Bramhall was at his best down the stretch, making 11 saves to earn his eighth win of the season.
"From the goalkeeper out, we had a great team effort today," said Lyons first-year head coach Jamie Lockard. "We knew we had to play 60 minutes of lacrosse to beat Babson. They are a streaky team and we knew they would have their runs. We beat a really good team today."
Bramhall's 24 saves is the eighth-highest single game mark in program history. He entered the contest 13th nationally in save percentage (.638) and 19th in goals against average (6.58). "Harry has been great for us. He allows us to do some things defensively. I think he's the best goalie in the conference, and I think he proved that today," said Lockard.
Babson outshot Wheaton 50-26 on the afternoon, forced 30 turnovers, and won 12 of the 18 face-offs. Junior Jack Croasdale (Manchester, N.H./Kents Hill School) collected a game-high eight ground balls for Wheaton and also caused a team-high four turnovers.
Mallon finished with three goals for Babson while Griffin and Bero each scored twice. Junior James Whalen (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) recorded seven saves and fell to 8-5 with the loss. Freshman Christian Cattaru (Guilford, Conn./Guilford) paced the Babson defense with seven caused turnovers and six ground balls.
First place is on the line this Saturday in Springfield when the Lyons and Pride play at 1 p.m. Babson heads to Regis (Mass.) for a 3 p.m. contest on Saturday.