SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2010
Men’s lacrosse team drops frustrating game at VMI, 10-9
The JU men’s lacrosse team spent all day playing catch-up and found a mid-second half rally fall short during a frustrating 10-9 loss at VMI.

The Dolphins (1-3) conceded four goals in the first eight minutes of the game before trading goals for a majority of the second and third quarters. Late in the third, JU scored three unanswered goals to bring the game to within one but the tying goal was never put away.

Freshman midfielder Cameron Mann submitted an excellent performance for the visitors, scoring four goals and picking up eight ground balls. Freshman Ryan Serville, who went into the game today leading the country in points, added two more in the form of two assists to Mann and freshman T.J. Kenary.

The Keydets (1-2) put forth a complete team effort with eight different players scoring goals and two, Tim Moran and Brett Leonard notching multiple scores. Goalie Kelly McMinn saved 16 shots on the day to keep the Dolphins at bay.

“This was a really tough game for us,” said JU head coach Matt Kerwick. “I was happy with the team’s fight in the third quarter but we really dug ourselves a big hole by giving up those opening four goals. We’re going to have to come back, recover and get ready to face a good Mount St. Mary’s team on Tuesday.”

The Dolphins came out slowly in the first quarter as they opened the game by giving up a four-goal run.

The Dolphins got on the board four minutes later, when Mann scored off a pass from Serville to cut the margin to 4-1, where it remained after one period.

Brett Leonard answered back for the Keydets 1:43 into the second quarter, and the teams would alternate scores for the remainder of the period.

JU cut its deficit to 5-2 with a man-up goal from Alex Everett at 11:40, but Jacob Weimer responded four minutes later, as he beat Hester off a pass from Brett Leonard.

Trailing 6-2, the Dolphins were the team that found the scoreboard next, as Nick Scalzo beat McMinn with 1:07 left in the half, pulling the visitors within three.

As was typical for the entirety of the game, the margin lasted only a moment as the Keydets scored off the ensuing faceoff.

During the first half of play, the Dolphins out-shot the home team 16-11, with McMinn stopping seven of those attempts for VMI. The Dolphins had also out-gained the Keydets in ground balls, 16-13, and had the game’s only extra man goal in the first 30 minutes despite seven first half penalties between the two teams.

Mann started the Dolphins’ comeback bid with 9:40 left in the third period, as he beat McMinn cleanly to make the score 7-4.

Bobby Davis would answer for VMI but was flagged for a penalty immediately after his goal, and JU took advantage with another Mann goal. With 8:08 to go in the third quarter, VMI’s cushion sat at 8-5, and it remained there for nearly four minutes.

The final 15 minutes saw just three goals scored, but the teams were flagged for a combined seven penalties.

The Dolphins scored within two minutes of the start of the fourth quarter on an unassisted goal from freshman Chip Young.

The teams would play the next ten minutes without a goal before Colin Bosse tallied a man-up goal for the Keydets to give his team a two goal lead.

Mann added his fourth goal of the game on a man-up goal with 25 seconds remaining but the Dolphins lost the ensuing faceoff and were unable to create a scoring opportunity.

The Dolphins outshot VMI 46-26, including 30-15 in the second half but several of JU’s shots were blocked by shafts and players.

Freshman faceoff specialist Mike Wallenhorst was able to capture nine faceoff wins against Stephen Robarge, who came into the game with a 77.5% success rate, but the Keydets won each of the four battles at the face-off X in the final period.

JU lost despite having 11 man-up opportunities (10:00), converting on five of the chances, their best performance of the year.

Senior goalie Brad Hester turned in a bizarre stat line at the end of the game. The senior didn’t make a single save in the first half, conceding seven goals and finished the game with five saves despite the Cadets’ 26 shots.

The Dolphins have a quick turn-around this week, facing Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Ashley Sports Complex in the second half of a double header with the women’s lacrosse team.