LEXINGTON, Ky.—A dominating effort offensively and defensively helped the Transylvania University men's lacrosse team earn a berth in the inaugural Ohio River Lacrosse Conference Championship match with a convincing 12-6 win over Hanover College Friday at Pat Deacon Stadium.
The Pioneers entered Friday's contest ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense and that was evident early, as Cooper Fogle and the defensive unit along with the relentless and efficient offensive attack made it clear early that Transy was hungry for the win.
Fogle sits atop the ORLC in goals against average—while ranking seventh nationally—allowing only 5.89 goals per contest, while logging 13 saves on 19 Hanover shots in the win.
The defensive stops help generate additional offensive possessions as the Pioneers were successful on 22-of-24 clears in the win.
Transy controlled the game from the opening faceoff as Sam Ives gave the Pioneers the opening possession. The Pioneer offense was efficient netting its first goal less than 20 seconds into play with Clay Douthat's first of four goals on the night coming at the 14:42 mark in the first quarter.
Ives—ranked 26th in the country in faceoff win percentage—won the ensuing faceoff to keep possession in favor of the Pioneers and they soon capitalized. Ben Erwin connected with Ives for another score with 12:50 showing to give Transy a 2-0 lead.
Hanover answered with their lone goal of the half narrowing the Pioneer lead momentarily to 2-1.
The Pioneers were unaffected by Hanover's goal as Erwin found Andrew Meyer for the score extending the Transy lead back to two, 3-1.
Transy controlled both sides of the ball as Cooper Fogle and the defensive unit limited Hanover's possessions and forced 12 turnovers in the win.
After Erwin forced a Hanover turnover, Gus Burge found the net for the Pioneers building their lead to 4-1 with 8:36 left in the first quarter. Erwin and Douthat connected for the score minutes later putting the Pioneers up 5-1 at the end of the first.
Much was the same in the second as the Meyer found Douthat for the goal with 11:50 to play in the first half. Matthew Parker forced another Hanover turnover leading to another Transy possession. The offensive unit converted with another score as Brandon Heller found Zack Riggs for the score putting Transy up 7-1.
The Pioneers added four more goals before the end of the first half building an 11-1 lead at the break. David Smith connected on a pass from Erwin at the 7:29 mark before Robert Rhea added another score a minute later giving the Pioneers a 9-1 advantage.
Erwin found Douthat again for the score with 2:30 left to play before Douthat netted his fourth goal of the half with 1:16 to play to put the Pioneers up 11-1 at the break.
Five second half goals from Hanover could not erase the deficit the Pioneers built in the first half.
With the win, the Pioneers will host St. Vincent in the inaugural ORLC Championship Sunday at Pat Deacon Stadium. The Pioneers won the matchup earlier this season with a 6-3 win at St. Vincent.
Sunday's match is scheduled for 1 p.m. Live stats and video are available here.