Augustana holds off Transylvania in season opener, 8-5

Augustana holds off Transylvania in season opener, 8-5

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Despite three straight second half goals, the Vikings of Augustana College used two fourth quarter goals to hold off the Transylvania University men's lacrosse team, 8-5, Wednesday in the season opener at Pat Deacon Stadium.

After building a 6-2 lead with 11:23 left in the third quarter, the Pioneers rallied to pull the game within one. The Pioneers capitalized off a man-up opportunity following an interference call on the Vikings, as junior midfielder Evan Wright found junior attacker Clay Douthat for the score with 4:21 remaining in the third to cut the Augustana lead to three, 6-3.

As time wound down in the period, Wright scooped up a groundball and beat goalie Cody Burgdoff for the scoring cutting the Viking lead to two.  Sophomore midfielder David Smith picked up a groundball following a Viking turnover, before freshman midfielder Josh Mesmer added his second goal of the night pulling the Pioneers to within one, 6-5.

The Vikings, however, added to their lead on a man-up goal from John Danko at the 6:55 mark, before the final score of the game with six minutes to play to pick up the win.

The Pioneers converted on their first possession of the game to take a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into play. Sophomore midfielder Zack Riggs won the opening faceoff leading to a ground ball pickup from junior long stick midfielder Ben Rogers. Transylvania maintained possession generating six shots, before Erwin followed a shot from teammate Clark Watts and found the net for the first goal of the season for Transylvania.

The Vikings evened the score at one on a goal from Kevin Gleason after a successful clear attempt. Augustana added four straight goals to take a 5-1 lead with 11:02 left to play in the first half.  Transylvania sophomore goalkeeper Cooper Fogle came up with a big stop with 2:45 left. The Pioneer offense took advantage as Mesmer netted his first career goal with 1:27 left in the half to close the Viking lead to 5-2.

"Our guys played well," head coach Terry Justice said. "We were able to get some better possessions in the second half and we got some scores. We've got some work to do, but I'm happy with where we are this early."

The Pioneers went 10-for-12 on clear attempts in the game and scooped up 31 ground balls. Mesmer led the Pioneers with two goals in the win, as Watts tallied four ground balls with Smith, Wright, Rogers, Smith and senior Alex Nugent added three each.

The Pioneers host Huntingdon Saturday at Pat Deacon Stadium. Saturday's game is schedule for 3 p.m. Live stats and live video are available here