Men's Lacrosse Defeats Bethany 11-8 for First Victory of Season

Men's Lacrosse Defeats Bethany 11-8 for First Victory of Season

The Oglethorpe men's lacrosse team picked up their first win of the season Saturday against the Bethany Bison in Bethany, West Virginia, defeating them 11-8 using a squad with just 10 men, meaning there were no subs available. The depleted Stormy Petrels played well, however, and were in the lead for most of the game. They never allowed Bethany to secure a lead of their own. Starting in the second period and bridging over to the third, the Petrels went on a 6-0 run, giving them an 8-2 advantage. The home team was able to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but 3 late Oglethorpe goals secured the victory and improved the squad to 1-6 on the season. 

Sophomore attackman Nathaniel Gillespie scored the first goal of the game two minutes in, but the Bison quickly answered with a goal with 10:54 remaining in the first period. Sophomore defenseman Andrew Kwapil answered for the Petrels, tallying a goal with an assist from Gillespie and giving them a 2-1 lead going into the second period. From there, the Petrels went on a 6-0 run, with 3 of those goals from freshman attackman Braden Draucek. They took an 8-2 lead, their largest of the game, with 4:34 to go in the third quarter. The Bison clawed their way back into the game, though, going on a 6-0 run themselves and tying the contest at 8-8 with 8:30 left. However, the Petrels fought back and secured the victory, going on a 3-0 run to end the contest. Sophomore middie Tyler Stridiron took a pass from Kwapil and gave the team a 9-8 lead with 6:02 left, then Gillespie finished off a feed from Stridiron with 3:08 left for a 2-goal lead. Sophomore middie Sulton Rahim put the game away with his third marker with 47 seconds remaining.

Gillespie was all over the field on the afternoon, tying for the team lead with 3 goals, while also picking up 13 ground balls, 3 assists, and 4 caused turnovers. Draucek also played well, tallying 3 goals, 2 assists, 6 ground balls, and 2 caused turnovers. Rahim also earned a hat trick for the Petrels, while Kwapil picked up a game-high 15 ground balls and caused 4 turnovers himself. Freshman Ryan Kozlowski earned a victory in his first career start in goal, racking up 11 saves on the afternoon.

The Petrels outshot Bethany 45-39 for the game, including 23-19 on goal. They won 12 of 23 faceoffs while successfully clearing the ball on 25 of 31 attempts. Ground balls and turnovers were very even, with Oglethorpe committing 31 turnovers to Bethany's 29 and scooping 55 ground balls to their opponents' 57.

"This was an outstanding victory for our team!" said Oglethorpe head coach Nathan Young. "We were depleted today, playing without any subs, but the guys fought hard and came away with a huge victory. I love how we responded after Bethany went on a run to tie the game in the fourth quarter. We fought through that adversity and came away with the win."

The Petrels will stay in Bethany for their next game, which will be against Franciscan Monday at 2 p.m. The Barons play just across the border in Steubenville, Ohio, and will meet the Petrels in West Virginia for the neutral site showdown.

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