Bears Can't Hang On In 12-6 Loss to Holy Cross
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Mercer men's lacrosse team dropped its sixth-straight, losing to 12-6 to Holy Cross in a neutral site game played in Jacksonville, Fla. on Tuesday afternoon.
The Bears (0-6), who are spending their spring break down in Florida, played a tough first thirty minutes against the Crusaders(3-2) but in the end couldn't keep within arm's length on Tuesday. Mercer had just three less shots than Holy Cross (39-36) but had just 14 on goal in the game.
Six different Mercer players scored on the day with freshman Nate Link recording his second of the season off one of his team-high 11 shots. Sophomores Cole Branch and Sam Grayson each added a goal and an assist. Branch is now second on the team in total points (12) with seven goals and five assists on the year.
Mercer did a good job in the first half of dictating the pace and possession, selecting their shots on the offensive end. Mercer trailed 3-1 after the first quarter, but added 12 shots in the second and connected for two goals. Link scored the first in the second quarter just over minutes in to cut the Holy Cross lead to 3-2.
The Crusaders would counter for the next two goals to extend a 5-2 lead late in the second. Sophomore Zack Ward gave the Bears a bit of momentum heading into the half when he tallied his team-leading ninth goal of the season with just 25 seconds remaining in the quarter to bring the score to within two, 5-3.
Holy Cross made several halftime adjustments that proved effective as the Crusaders scored four unanswered, including a 3-0 decision in the third quarter. Twenty-two Mercer turnovers didn't help the Bears cause as five Holy Cross players had multiple goals in the game. Clay Haarmann leading all point scorers in the game with two goals and an assist.
Mercer's C.J. Moore and Sam Grayson netted back-to-back goals by midway through the fourth to cut the Holy Cross lead to 9-5, but that would be as close at the Bears would get. The Crusaders scored three over the next two and half minutes to put the game out of reach.
MU's Harry Baker scored his third of the season on a man-up opportunity with 10 seconds remaining to close out the scoring on the day. The Bears finished 1-of-4 on extra-man opportunities in the game.
The Bears will stay down in the Jacksonville and practice the remainder of the week in preparation for Saturday's game against Jacksonville. Game time for Saturday's game is set for 1 p.m.