Greenville, S.C. – (Box Score) Second-seed Reinhardt had seven different players net at least one goal to defeat seventh-seed Lawrence Tech 14-13 in the second quarterfinal game of the 2017 NAIA Invitational Wednesday at Sirrine Stadium. With the win the Eagles improve to 15-1, while the Blue Devils finish the season 10-4.
Reinhardt jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Kevon James found Artie Lewis for a goal 35 seconds into the game. Lawrence Tech responded scoring four unanswered goals over a five minute stretch, including two from Tim Popp to take a 4-1 lead with 8:52 remaining. Connor Mills netted back-to-back goals for the Eagles to cut the deficit to 4-3 after the first quarter.
Reinhardt scored two of the first three goals of the second quarter to tie the game 5-5. Popp and Frank Badalamenti scored two straight goals for the Blue Devils to give them a 7-5 lead with 6:20 left. The score remained that way until the 3:43 mark when Chad Huffman's shot connected with the back of the cage for a goal to cut the lead to 7-6 at the break.
Lawrence Tech took advantage of an Eagles penalty as Popp scored a man-up goal 20 seconds into the third quarter to extend the Blue Devils lead to 8-6. Reinhardt responded by scoring five of the next six goals, including a pair from Cole Hennings and three assist from Lewis to give the Eagles an 11-9 edge with 2:01 left. Brandon Oles found Gabe O'Neil for a goal with one second left in the period to cut the deficit to 11-10.
Both teams scored a pair of goals to start the fourth quarter to give Reinhardt a 13-12 advantage with 6:00 remaining. The Eagles extended their lead as Jeff Mathis found James cutting towards the cage for a goal. Lawrence Tech took advantage of a Reinhardt penalty as Frank Badalamenti found Tristan Burkhard for a goal at the 1:43 mark to bring the Blue Devils within one. Lawrence Tech has a chance to tie the game after forcing an Eagles turnover with 17 seconds remaining but were unable to get a shot off.
Lewis and James led the way for Reinhardt with six points apiece. Lewis tallied three goals and three assists, while James recorded a goal and dished out five assists. Mathis and Bennett Jarrett finished with four points apiece, while Grant Sufferling went 18-28 on the faceoff and scooped 14 ground balls.
Leading the way for Lawrence Tech was Popp and Burkhard. Popp scored five goals, while Burkhard finished with four goals and four ground balls. O'Neil and Badalamenti each added three points, while Alex Schlueter scooped a team-high five ground balls.
Reinhardt advances to the semifinals against Indiana Tech on Friday. That game is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.