Despite a smaller squad than usual, the Davidson Wildcats beat the Liberty Flames by a score of 14-8, advancing to the finals to be held Sunday at 12:15 pm -- a rematch against Appalachian State University, who beat Emory in the earlier semi-final game. Davidson scored first, but Liberty quickly answered, and the Flames continued responding to Davidson's offensive pressure for a first quarter score of 3-3. The second quarter was similarly evenly matched, with a half-time score of 6-5. In the third quarter, Davidson exploded with both a strong offensive attack and solid defensive play, with a third-quarter score of 12-7. With a solid lead built up, Davidson maintained possession of the ball for much of the fourth quarter, scoring two goals to Liberty's one goal, and closed the game out for the final score of 14-8. There were two Wildcats tied for high scorer for this game, with sophomore attack Jamie Butler (IN) and junior midfielder and co-captain Garen Riedel (MA) both with five goals each; they were followed by sophomore midfielder Dan Devine (NY) with two goals and one assist, senior midfielder and co-captain Evans McGowan (DE) with one goal and one assist, sophomore attack Nick Tapert (NY) with one goal and one assist, and junior defenseman and co-captain Geoff Fehling (PA) with one assist. Face-off specialists Dan Devine and sophomore Colin Brown (IL) won 74% of the draws throughout the game to help Davidson maintain possession of the ball, especially in the second half.
The defense played especially well, despite the strong play of Liberty's attack. Kudos should be given to Geoff Fehling for containing the SELC-B offensive player of the year on Liberty and to senior goalie Ben Ralston (CO), who finished the game with a total of 14 saves for a save percentage of 59%.
After the game, a number of our players were recognized by the SELC for their achievement throughout the season. Geoff Fehling was awarded the SELC-B "Best Defensive Player" for the B-Division of the SELC. There were four Wildcats recognized as first-team all conference for the B Division: Goalie Ben Ralston, Defenseman Geoff Fehling, Midfielder Garen Riedel, and Attack Jamie Butler. Nick Tapert was also selected for attack on the second-team all conference team. Congratulations to our awardees!
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