LEXINGTON, Ky.—An efficient offensive attack and a swarming defensive effort helped the Transylvania University men's lacrosse team to a pivotal 14-6 win over Thiel College in an Ohio River Lacrosse Conference match Saturday at Pat Deacon Stadium.
With the win, the Pioneers move to first place in the ORLC with two conference games remaining.
The Pioneers controlled the game from the opening faceoff as junior Sam Ives won his first of 13 faceoffs on the day. An early man-up opportunity helped the Pioneers take a 1-0 lead as Clark Watts found the back of the net with 6:44 left in the first quarter.
After Ives won the ensuing faceoff, Watts and the Pioneers extended their lead to 2-0 just over two minutes later with Watts' second goal of the day coming at the 4:20 mark.
Transy carried a 2-0 lead into the second quarter, before goals from Gus Burge and Ives gave the Pioneers a 4-0 lead with 12:59 showing in the second quarter. The defensive unit continued to thwart Thiel's possessions, keeping the Tomcats out of the goal.
The Pioneers' offense ignited for three goals in less than two minutes, as a timely caused turnover from Matthew Parker gave Transy possession with 10:00 remaining in the half. Ives found Andrew Meyer for the score giving the Pioneers a 5-0 lead with 8:44 remaining before half.
Ives easily took the following faceoff to give the Pioneers possession allowing Ben Erwin to put Transy up 6-0. Erwin added his second of three goals on the day less than a minute later giving the Pioneers a commanding 7-0 lead with 6:45 to play before the break.
Thiel got on the board as time wound down in the first half, as Edward Kargbo gave the Tomcats their first score of the day but the Pioneers held a 7-1 advantage at intermission.
Ives' dominant effort continued into the second half winning the faceoff and beating Thiel goalkeeper Ryan Weldon for the score less than a minute into the second half adding to the Pioneer lead, 8-1.
Defensively, the Pioneers maintained pressure limiting Thiel's possessions. After a Thiel possession came up empty-handed, Clay Douthat added a goal with 9:19 left in the third as Transy added to its already dominant lead, 9-1.
The Tomcats added two goals late in the third to narrow the Pioneer lead to 9-3 going into the final quarter, before Transy netted five goals to seal the win.
The Pioneers put up three goals in a 1:06 span to put the game out of reach. Erwin gave the Pioneers a 10-3 lead with his third goal of the game coming with 10:16 left to play. Zach Roby, who has been fighting an illness, gave the Pioneers their 11th score of the game with 9:41 left.
The Transy offense kept the pace extending their lead to 12-3 on a goal from David Smith at the 9:10 mark. Following a Thiel penalty, Alex Nugent and the Pioneers capitalized off another man-up opportunity putting Transy up 10, 13-3, with 7:30 left to play.
Meyer, again, found the net giving the Pioneers' their final goal of the game with 5:21 showing on the clock. Thiel scored three goals in the final seven minutes, but the Pioneer lead proved too much as Transy picked up their third ORLC win.
The Pioneers scooped up 35 groundballs to only 13 by Thiel, while tallying 66 shots to Thiel's 17. Transy won 21 of 23 faceoffs on the day.
The Pioneers host Mount St. Joseph University Wednesday at Pat Deacon Stadium in another ORLC contest. Wednesday's match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.