Lexington, KY – Done in by a night of unkempt passing, the Transylvania men's lacrosse team fell to the Baldwin-Wallace Yellow Jackets 7-6 in a Monday night showdown at Pat Deacon Stadium.
One of the best teams in the nation in clears in 2015, the Pioneers went just 20-for-29 on clear attempts, allowing the visiting Yellow Jackets to pounce and cash in on timely opportunities. The Pioneers bested Baldwin-Wallace in shot quality, registering a shots-on-goal percentage of 52.6, but the Yellow Jackets garnered 15 more shots-on-goal for the night.
Baldwin-Wallace took advantage of the contest through near flawless clearances, going 25-for-26 on clear attempts, and also won the battle to the ball, outpacing Transylvania 22-15 in ground balls for the night.
Despite the defensive imbalances, Transylvania remained in the thick of the contest throughout the night. After Baldwin-Wallace delivered the first blow with a Judson Huston goal less than three minutes into the match, Transylvania responded with three unanswered goals in the first quarter, courtesy of strikes by Alex Cherry, Zach Roby, and Zack Riggs. Roby's goal at 5:54 mark included the visual appeal of goalkeeper Cooper Fogle trotting the ball far enough to win the assist on the play, his first of the season.
The first quarter proved to be the highest scoring frame of the night as both teams combined for six total goals and a 3-3 tie at the end of the quarter. Baldwin-Wallace quickly equalized the Pioneers with two goals in a one minute stretch ending at the 1:57 mark of the first.
The second quarter was a relative deadlock, with the only goal going to the Baldwin-Wallace side halfway through the quarter for a 4-3 halftime lead.
Baldwin-Wallace outscored Transylvania in the third quarter, while Alex Cherry supplied Transylvania with their only goal of the quarter (his second of the game) to keep the Pioneers afloat with a 6-4 deficit as they headed into the final quarter. An early fourth quarter goal by Baldwin-Wallace would be their last of the game, but it would be all the Yellow Jackets needed to secure the road win.
Zack Riggs led a hopeful charge down the stretch for Transylvania, scoring a goal with 4:36 left in the contest to thin the Jackets' lead to two. Riggs then found his way to the goal again, scoring with 1:02 left in regulation to set the stage for a dramatic final minute.
The Pioneers won a faceoff and Josh Mesmer teed off at the goal twice, but missed wide. Baldwin-Wallace secured control of the second miss and performed a clear while the final seconds of the clock ticked off to preserve the one-goal victory.
Riggs posted a hat trick for the Pioneers in defeat with three goals on five shots-on-goal. Sam Ives won five faceoffs and scooped up four ground balls to lead Transylvania in those categories.
The Pioneers suffered 26 turnovers on the evening that stifled additional charges.
Transylvania dropped to 1-2 after the setback. The Pioneers will try and improve their fortunes when they journey to Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama one week from today.
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