The Oglethorpe men's lacrosse team came up short in a heartbreaking loss Monday afternoon in Bethany, West Virginia, after leaving all they had on the field against the Franciscan Barons in a neutral site contest. They crawled their way back from a 5-goal deficit to within a single goal late, but unfortunately ran out of time in a 14-13 loss. The Stormy Petrels are now 1-7 for the season.
The first half of the game went back and forth between the Petrels and Barons. Sophomore attackman Nathaniel Gillespie scored the opening goal for the Petrels just a little under two minutes into the game. The Barons answered with 2 goals of their own to gain the lead. Sophomore middie Tyler Stridiron tallied his second goal of the game a little over 30 seconds into the second period, tying the game at 3-3. Freshman attackman Braden Draucek quickly followed with a goal to give the Petrels the 4-3 lead. Franciscan responded with a game-tying goal, then tallied again with just one second left in the half, giving them a 5-4 lead going into halftime.
The Petrels struggled in the third period, only scoring 2 goals to the Barons' 6 and falling behind 11-6. At the start of the fourth period, Gillespie scored his third goal of the game and gave momentum back to the Petrels. Draucek tallied a goal soon after and the Petrels began crawling their way back into the game, bringing the score to 11-8. The Petrels trailed 14-9 with just a little over a minute-and-a-half left in the game when they went on a 4-0 run. Gillespie, Draucek and Stridiron carried the Petrels in the last 90 seconds, each tallying a goal; two goals were from Gillespie. However, time was not on their side, and the Petrels fell 14-13.
Gillespie carried the Petrels on the afternoon, scoring 5 goals on 9 shots, recovering 6 ground balls, recording an assist, and forcing a turnover. In addition to their 3 goals, Draucek recovered 8 ground balls, recorded an assist, and forced a turnover, while Stridiron recovered 4 ground balls, recorded an assist, and forced a turnover. Sophomore defenseman Andrew Kwapil added 8 ground balls, as well.
Overall, the Petrels had 23 turnovers to the Barons' 18, won 19 of the 30 faceoffs, were outshot 47-39 by the Barons, and recovered 40 ground balls to the Barons' 39. They were also 14-for-20 on clear attempts and 2-for-6 on extra-man opportunities.
"This was a tough loss, but we'll get right back at it Thursday against Randolph," said Oglethorpe head coach Nathan Young. "We've got a 6-game homestand coming up, so we'll look to refocus and get back on track."
The Petrels will now travel back home to defend their turf against the visiting Randolph Wildcats Thursday at 1 p.m. The game will be held on the Oglethorpe Track and Field.