Men’s Lacrosse Rolls Past Carthage in CCIW Tournament Semis
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team will play for a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournament Championship Saturday, May 6, after defeating fourth-seeded Carthage College, 15-9, under the lights at Tucci Stadium Thursday night, May 4. IWU improves to 13-3 on the season, while Carthage ends its season with an 11-6 record.
Senior Carson Kiichle (Vancouver, Wash.-Skyview) was one of eight Titans to score on the night, as he finished with a team-high seven points on two goals and five assists. Junior Gage Black (Peoria, Ill.-Dunlap) scored a team-high five goals and added a helper for six points. Senior Connor Kiichle (Vancouver, Wash.-Skyview) tallied three points via a goal and a pair of assists.
Junior Ethan Hart (Littleton, Colo.-J.K. Mullen) led the Titans with six ground balls, while Connor Kiichle added five. Sophomore Nick Schroeder (Waunakee, Wis.-Waunakee) added four pickups on an 11-for-25 showing at the X. Senior Blake Muschewske (Excelsior, Minn.-Holy Family Catholic) paced IWU with three caused turnovers, while also adding a pair of ground balls.
In goal, the dynamic duo of sophomore Colin Tervo (West Linn, Ore.-West Linn) and junior Alex Oximana (Seattle, Wash.-Bishop Blanchet) held down the defensive end. Tervo was credited with the win after tallying 11 saves in the first half, with Oximana adding eight in the second 30 minutes of play.
The Firebirds struck first but Black answered with a rip to even the score with 10:18 to go in the period. After a huge save from Tervo that saw Logan Heinchon (Dripping Springs, Texas-Dripping Springs) take it through the midfield and pass ahead to sophomore Jake Gisi (Wentzville, Mo.-Chaminade College Prep), who fired a long range shot to put IWU on top, 2-1, with 8:01 on the clock.
Freshman Noah Dretzka (Delafield, Wis.-Kettle Moraine) scored off a pass from Carson Kiichle to cap the three-goal Titan run just over a minute and a half later.
Carthage pulled within one before Carson Kiihcle and Black tallied goals to push IWU ahead, 5-2, after 15 minutes.
An even second quarter saw each team score three goals as Illinois Wesleyan carried an 8-5 lead into halftime.
The Firebirds notched the first goal of the second half just 22 seconds in to trim the Titan lead to two, 8-6, but IWU responded with six unanswered goals to reclaim control, 14-6. The run featured goals by Carson Kiichle, Gisi, junior Trystan Seeley (Castle Rock, Colo.-Castle View), senior Mason Barney (New Haven, Ind.-R. Nelson Snider), and Black. Assisting on Seeley’s second straight goal, this one with 16 seconds left in the third, Carson Kiichle tied the IWU single-game assists record with his 51st of the year.
With the 15-9 victory, Illinois Wesleyan will play for a CCIW Tournament Championship at Tucci Stadium Saturday, May 6, as the Titans will take on third-seeded Transylvania. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.