DEFIANCE, Ohio—The Transylvania University men's lacrosse team clinched the first conference championship in program history and did so in style on Saturday, taking a 22-5 win over Ohio River Lacrosse Conference opponent Defiance College.
In addition to the ORLC title and first postseason berth in school history, the win was the Pioneers' ninth of the season, matching the previous record for wins, set in 2013.
The Pioneers dominated the Yellow Jackets from the onset, taking a 1-0 lead at the 12:56 mark in the first quarter on attacker Ben Erwin's goal. Erwin netted another goal just five minutes later, this time using an assist from attacker Clay Douthat to beat the Defiance goalkeeper. Transy would go on to add six more goals in the quarter and hold Defiance scoreless to take an 8-0 lead into the second quarter.
The second quarter saw much of the same as Transylvania continued to pour it on. Midfielder Clark Watts opened scoring for Transy, netting his first goal of the game just 24 seconds into the quarter. Watts' goal was the first in a 4-0 run to open the period, as the Pioneers jumped out to a 13-1 halftime advantage.
Defiance would narrow the margin early in the third quarter, scoring two goals in the first minute of the half, but Transylvania responded with a 7-0 run over the span of seven minutes, started by a goal from midfielder Andrew Meyer and capped with a goal from midfielder David Smith with 4:30 left in the quarter. All told, the Pioneers outscored Defiance 8-3 in the period, putting the game at a comfortable 21-4 margin after three quarters.
The fourth and final quarter was much lower scoring, as each team netted just one goal. After Defiance scored with 8:46 to play in the fourth, Watts tallied the final goal of the game at the 5:31 mark, sealing the strong performance for Transy.
The game was a dominant performance on both sides of the ball for Transylvania, as they put 33 of 50 shots on target, peppering the Defiance goalkeeper with attempt after attempt while the Pioneer defense held the Yellow Jackets to just 15 shots in the game. Erwin led all scorers with four goals, but Douthat and Meyer added three of their own and Smith and midfielder Zack Riggs each tallied multiscore games with two goals each.
The Pioneers commanded the possession game, winning 53 of 73 groundball opportunities led by 11 from Riggs. Midfielders Brandon Heller (3-3), Sam Ives (12-13) and Riggs (11-11) and defender Matthew Parker (1-2) combined to win 27 of 29 faceoffs in the match. Goalkeeper Cooper Fogle recorded one save on two shots on goal in his 37 minutes of play while Joshua Slone picked up four saves in 23 minutes in the net.
Transylvania (9-6, 5-1 ORLC) picked up its fourth straight win and fifth in six games on Saturday as part of their conference championship run. They will host Hanover College on Friday at 5:00 p.m. at Pat Deacon Stadium in an ORLC semifinal.