Bears Begin Four-Game Roadtrip at Towson Wednesday
MACON, Ga.— Fresh off its 14-11 win over Wagner last week, the Mercer lacrosse team heads for Towson looking to build off the momentum established following the first win over Division I opponent in program history.
The Bears begin a four-game road trip playing at Towson Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Mercer won't have another home game until the season finale against St. Joseph's on April 21.
LAST TIME OUT
Nearly a year to the day after picking up its first win as a program over Carthage College, the Mercer lacrosse program established another milestone with a 14-11 win over Wagner. The win marked Mercer's first over a Division I foe in its second full season as a program.
The win by the Bears came in come-from-behind fashion, as Mercer trailed by as many as four goals in the opening half of play. It was an impressive offensive onslaught in the fourth quarter, which saw the Bears score a season-standard five goals that allowed the Bears to taste victory for the first time this season.
That offensive attack was buoyed by the play of Eoin Collins and Zach Ward, who each registered their first-career hat tricks in the victory. Ward also added an assist and continued his strong offensive output for the Bears this season, having tallied a point in all eight matches this season.
It was also an afternoon which saw the Bears record program milestones in several key offensive statistics, including shots (44) and shots on frame (28). The 14 goals scored in the match by the Bears were the most this season and also the most since scoring 17 against Carthage last season.
Mercer started the match a bit sluggish, as the Bears found themselves behind two goals within the first five minutes of the match against the Seahawks. The Bears would eventually fall behind by four goals (7-3) with 6:40 remaining in the half, however, Mercer would mount a late offensive surge that included three goals in quick succession by Ward, Collins and Nate Link to cut Wagner's lead to one (7-6) and carry all the momentum into the halftime locker room.
Mercer tallied a pair of goals in the third quarter, eventually tying the match, 9-9, before Wagner would enjoy its final lead of the afternoon on a controversial tally by Sam Morrissey just before the end of the period, allowing Wagner to take a 10-9 lead into the fourth period.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Bears, however, out-scoring Wagner 5-1 en route to the win. Goals by Link (12:38), Sam Grayson (07:27), Collins (6:35), Ward (2:59) and Jay Debole (00:35) rounded out the scoring for the Bears on the eventful afternoon.
Scouting the Tigers:
Wednesday's meeting with Towson will mark the first between the two foes. Towson, who plays in the Colonial Athletic Association, enters the matchup with a 3-3 overall record, and the Tigers are coming off a 10-9 win in their latest match against Stony Brook on Saturday.
The Bears and Tigers do share one common opponent so far this season, as both have faced Jacksonville. The Bears suffered a 16-5 loss to the Dolphins back on Mar. 10, while Towson opened the season with a 12-10 victory at Jacksonville back on Feb. 11.
Two of Towson's three losses have come against ranked foes this season, as the Tigers dropped matches to No. 2 Johns Hopkins (12-6) on Feb. 17, while dropping a 13-6 contest to 13th-ranked Loyola Maryland a week later.
Coming into the season, the Tigers were picked to finish sixth out of the seven teams that sponsor men's lacrosse in the CAA. The Tigers enter the matchup with the Bears led offensively by Sean Maguire (13 pts), Matt Hughes (12 pts) and Thomas DeNapoli (10 pts). Maguire leads the team with 10 goals and three assists this season, while Hughes has seven goals and five assists.