PONTIAC, Mich. – Will Hendrick and Brett Reilly each had a hat trick but Jacksonville University (0-3) dropped a tough 12-11 decision to Detroit Mercy (1-3) Thursday at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas. The loss was Jacksonville's second by a single-goal this season.
Jacksonville drew first blood quickly on a Hendrick goal at the 13:01 mark. The shot, assisted by Chase McIntyre, gave Hendrick a score in all three games so far this season. The Titans then rallied off four unanswered scores before McLean Chicquen found the back of the net with 2:51 remaining in the quarter. Hendrick and McIntyre hooked up again with 1:26 on the clock for Hendrick's eighth goal of the season. Detriot Mercy closed the quarter on a Sean Birney assisted goal with just 16 seconds remaining.
The Titans scored first in the period but Hendrick picked up a hat trick with his shot at the 11:44 mark. Reilly scored his second goal of the year on an assist from Eric Applegate just over a minute later. After a Titan goal by Alec Gilhooly, Shawn Ewert found Chicquen at 7:02 to cut the deficit to 7-6. Later, the Dolphins answered another Titan score by beating the buzzer. With just a second remaining until the intermission, Ewert hit the back of the net and JU trailed by a single goal, 8-7.
Jacksonville continued the momentum by Ewert's buzzer beater with a pair of quick strikes. Michael Foster took a Chicquen pass and scored his first of the season just 34 seconds into the second half. Less than three minutes later, Hendrick set up McIntyre to give JU a one-score lead. The Titans rallied off a couple of scores before Reilly closed the period on a goal with just 29 seconds remaining on an assist by Pat Poulos to knot the score at 10.
The teams had only three tallies in the final quarter. Reilly again scored from a Chicquen assist with 9:07 to go, but Detroit Mercy reeled off consecutive goals at the 5:28 and 3:03 marks to take the lead for good, 12-11. Jacksonville fought until the final whistle but Applegate's shot before the clock's expiration was wide.
"I am proud of how our guys fought back after Saturday's disappointing showing. We asked them to win the groundball battle, and we did that. We had plenty of opportunities at the end of the game to take a larger lead and to eventually tie it up. It didn't fall our way, but we have a quick turnaround and cannot hang our heads. I'm excited about the growth of our younger players, but we will get back to work this evening to right our wrongs and finish games." – JU Head Coach John Galloway
Detroit Mercy outshot JU, 46-33, but Jacksonville won the battle for ground balls, 34-25. The Dolphins went 11-14 in clear attempts and won 17 of 26 faceoffs. Goalie Ben Gleichenhaus had 13 saves.
Jacksonville continuous its rigorous road schedule with a quick turnaround at #19 Ohio State on Feb. 25. Opening whistle is set for a noon start.