by Neal Settle
Lexington, Ky. – On what proved to be a historic night, the Transylvania men's lacrosse team used an electrifying fourth quarter comeback to slip by the visiting Centre College Colonels, 5 to 3 on Tuesday at Pat Deacon Stadium.
Going in to the matchup, the Pioneers had never defeated their rivals from Danville; and for most of the game, it seemed as if the Colonels were determined to keep their dominant streak going. However, Transylvania would outscore Centre 4-1 in the fourth quarter, including the final four goals of the game to claim the team's elusive first victory against their archrivals from Danville.
Transylvania received two clutch performances from the junior-senior combination of Zack Riggs and Ben Erwin, who led the Pioneers in scoring with two goals each. Senior midfielder Evan Wright also got into the action, scoring the go-ahead goal for the Pioneers with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The game was ultra-physical and highly competitive from the very beginning. After 13 minutes of defensive struggles, Erwin scored the game's first goal to put Transylvania in the lead, 1 to 0. The game would continue to be a low-scoring affair as the two teams combined for 20 shots and zero goals in the second quarter.
The Colonels came out of the halftime break looking to score, and quickly tied the game up at 1-1. Over the next ten minutes of action, both teams again hit an offensive lull and the score remained even at one. However, with just under 30 seconds to go in the third quarter, a goal by Senior Seth Gray put Centre up 2-1 going into the fourth quarter.
After falling behind in the waning seconds of the third quarter, Transylvania looked to be fading. However, after surrendering a third goal five minutes into the fourth quarter, the Pioneers came to life offensively, scoring two goals in 10 seconds to tie the game up 3 to 3. Transylvania then answered furiously twice more with two goals in the final four minutes of the game to take a swift 5-3 lead.
In addition to the timely fourth quarter offense, the Pioneers also relied on some stellar team defense to help secure the victory. Junior Goalie Cooper Fogle was tremendous in the net, allowing only three goals, and accounting for nine saves in 60 minutes of action. As a team, Transylvania collected 26 ground balls to Centre's 14.
With the win, Transylvania now holds a season record of 2-1 in the ORLC, and 4-6 overall. The Pioneers have four games remaining in the regular season, and are currently only a half game out of first place in the conference standings.
The Pioneers will look to build upon the momentum of this historic victory when they return to conference action this Saturday in a crucial matchup with Westminster. The game is set for an 11:30 start in New Wilmington, PA.
For more on Transylvania men's lacrosse, follow their official twitter @Transy_Lax