Men's lacrosse played four games from March 4 to 19 against Robert Morris University, Mount St. Mary's University, Wagner College and the United States Air Force Academy. They went 1-3 in those games.
Robert Morris University, March 4
The game ended with a Bears loss, 11-13. While the score looked close, it was the Colonials' game to lose at the start. Robert Morris went up 2-0 to open the game while holding the Bears without a score for nearly 12 minutes. The Bears finally found the net with three minutes to go in the first period off the stick of Nick Rockefeller. The Colonials answered, with two more scores and the first period ended with a 1-4 score.
The Colonials continued their onslaught with two more goals to open the second period. The Bears started to make it a game with Taylor Dooley and Sean Goldsmith finding the net. The Colonials scored twice more, though Goldsmith scored again, leading to a 4-8 Colonials' lead over the Bears.
The third period developed similarly up until the end. Robert Morris scored twice to open the period and Goldsmith answered with a goal. The Colonials tacked on two more to go up 5-12. Then, the comeback began.
Matthew Winegardner and Parker Junod both scored to close out the third period, bringing the score to 7-12. Then, Rockefeller and Goldsmith scored to inch close with a 9-12 score. The momentum was on the Bears' side, but the Colonials added an insurance goal and lead 9-13. Dooley and Winegardner scored again, but Mercer couldn't find another score, and the game ended with an 11-13 Bears loss.
Mount St. Mary's University, March 10
In another close game, the Bears found the win 12-11.
The game started back in forth with Carl Klepper opening the scoring and Brent Bishop answering the Mountaineers' first score to lead 2-1. The Mountaineers, however, scored three straight to close the first period and added another at the top of the second to lead 2-5. Goldsmith found the net again for the Bears, though St. Mary's answered that goal. However, Goldsmith, Parker Judd and Kyle Cox scored to start a mini-run for the Bears to tie the score 6-6. The Mountaineers answered the run before the end of the third period, but Khory Reid scored to tie the game at 7-7.
The Bears' run continued into the fourth period with Reid, Rockefeller and Goldsmith all scoring to lead 10-7. The Mountaineers went on a mini-run of their own with three goals to tie the game 10-10. Winegardner broke the stalemate with four minutes to go but the Mountaineers tied things up again with another goal. With under two minutes left to play, Goldsmith found the net again, and the Bears won it 12-11.
Wagner College, March 12
The Bears entered this game against the Wagner Seahawks with renewed life, but their momentum was snuffed out in a 4-13 loss. Winegardner opened the scoring in the first period but the Seahawks answered with a goal of their own.
The game was looking to be a defensive bout as neither team scored for the remainder of the first period. The second ended in a 3-3 draw with Rockefeller and Cole Leggett scoring while Wagner added two goals of their own. Then, the game flipped in favor of the Seahawks.
Wagner scored two goals to open the third period. Mercer added their fourth and final goal of the game from Christian Laureano. Then, the Seahawks scored eight uncontested goals across the third and fourth periods of the game to win 4-13.
U.S. Air Force Academy, March 19
After the loss to Wagner, the Bears returned home to face Air Force and fell 10-13. The Falcons provided strong competition for the Bears in a close game.
Winegardner scored twice in the first period for the Bears compared to one Air Force score. The second period opened with three straight scores from the Falcons but Mercer scored three of their own from Reid, Goldsmith and Leggett to go up 5-4. The teams went into the half with Mercer leading 6-5 after an Air Force goal and a score from the Bears' Ben Lever.
Logan Tucker opened the scoring in the third period for Mercer but Air Force scored twice to tie the game 7-7. The fourth period started with a goal from Winegardner but the Falcons hit their stride, scoring five unanswered goals to lead 8-12. Rockefeller and Reid chipped in two goals before the game's end, but the Falcons added another insurance goal to keep the Bears at bay 10-13.
Mercer will travel to Salt Lake City on March 26 to face Utah for their next game.
Keith Holmes Jr. ‘22 is a journalism and creative writing double major who has worked with The Cluster as general staff since his Sophomore year. Keith has received Best in SNO awards for his sports articles along with years of work at Mercer’s ESPN3 branch. Keith spends his free time playing video games and writing fiction around campus.