The Oglethorpe men's lacrosse team dropped the opener of its Southern Athletic Association season Wednesday evening to the in-state rival Berry Vikings in Mount Berry, falling 24-2. The Stormy Petrels were scoreless in the last three periods of the game, and fell to 0-6 for the season and 0-1 in SAA play.
The undermanned Petrels had difficulty keeping up with the large Berry squad as the game wore on. The Vikings dropped 8 consecutive goals within the first seven minutes of the game before senior attackman Andrew Houghton tallied 2 straight goals of his own at 7:47 and 6:23 of the first quarter, knocking the lead to 8-2. However, the Vikings responded with 2 more goals, gaining their 8-goal lead back. The Petrels went scoreless in the second period while the Vikings went on a 6-0 run, upping their lead to 16-2. The Petrels went into the half down by 14.
They went scoreless again in the third period while the Vikings continued to widen their lead, tallying 3 more goals, bringing the score to 19-2. The fourth period was not much better for the Petrels, either, as the Vikings tallied 5 more unanswered goals, bringing the final score of the game to 24-2.
In addition to scoring the only 2 goals of the game for the Petrels, Houghton scooped up 4 ground balls. Junior middie Jibril Stapleton scooped up 5 ground balls and sophomore attackman Nathaniel Gillespie picked up 4 ground balls, as well. Freshman goalie Sean Merritt had 12 saves, which is more than double the amount picked up by the two Berry goalies.
As a team, the Petrels were successful on 10 out of their 17 clear attempts, while the Vikings were 21-for-22 on clears. The Petrels committed 29 turnovers to the Vikings' 17, were outshot by a 61-12 margin, and recovered 23 ground balls to the Vikings' 46.
"Berry is a very good team, so we always knew this was going to be a tough matchup," said Oglethorpe head coach Nathan Young. "We'll learn from this result and head into our spring break trip looking to pick up a couple of victories."
The Petrels will travel to Bethany, West Virginia, over spring break, where they will take on homestanding Bethany at 1 p.m. Saturday, then will go against nearby Franciscan in a neutral site matchup Monday at 2 p.m.