Hanover, IN. – The Transylvania University men's lacrosse team pushed their current win streak to four and inched closer to their pursuit of the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference regular season title with a convincing 12-5 victory over the Hanover Panthers on Thursday.
Six individual Pioneers scored in the last regular season road match of 2016 including, sophomore midfielder Josh Mesmer (4 goals), junior midfielder Zack Riggs (3), junior attacker Clark Watts (2), junior attacker Zach Roby, junior midfielder Gus Burge and senior attacker Ben Erwin.
Mesmer's hat trick plus-one led the Pioneers in scoring. The big night for Mesmer gave the sophomore a total of 12 goals for the regular season. Mesmer also added an assist and four ground balls to his scoring performance.
Transylvania outshot Hanover 40-31 and edged out the Panthers in face-offs, going 11-for-21. The Pioneers also gained the advantage in clears, going an almost perfect 21-of-22 on rides.
The crimson struck first on an unassisted goal by Burge nearly four minutes into the first quarter before Hanover went on a 2-0 run, including a man-up goal, to take their first lead of the game. The Pioneers then followed with three unanswered goals by Mesmer, Riggs, and Watts to build a 4-2 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Hanover responded by sinking the first goal of the second quarter at the 10:42 mark to close the gap within one goal at 4-3. Transylvania went on the defensive for the rest of the half as that goal would be the Panthers' last of the half. The Pioneers responded by going on a 3-0 spurt with goals by Roby, Mesmer, and Riggs to lift their lead to four at 7-3 by halftime.
Transylvania picked up where they left off after the break, netting two more goals from Riggs and Mesmer in the third quarter before Hanover scored their only goal of the period. One more Pioneer goal in the third stanza by Watts came with 5:55 left to put the Pioneers up 10-4.
Hanover managed to produce one more goal in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to five at 10-5. With a little under 12 minutes remaining in the match, the Pioneers received two more goals from Mesmer and Erwin to cap the game at 12-5.
The win sets up Transylvania for a prime opportunity to capture a share of the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference regular season title. Thursday's win moved Transylvania to 7-6 overall with a 5-1 conference record. By defeating Hanover, the Pioneers moved to a first-place tie with the Panthers. By virtue of their victory against Hanover tonight, the Pioneers can capture the 1-seed with the tiebreaker over Hanover.
The high stakes come into play this Saturday when the Pioneers host Defiance for their Senior Day match at 1:00 p.m at Pat Deacon Stadium in Lexington.
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