Men's Lacrosse Begins SAA Play with Road Loss to Berry

Men's Lacrosse Begins SAA Play with Road Loss to Berry

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. 

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