The Oglethorpe men's lacrosse team hosted the Birmingham-Southern Panthers in an SAA matchup on Sunday afternoon at the Oglethorpe Track and Field. The Panthers were able to build an early 3-0 lead, but the Stormy Petrels would respond with a goal of their own making it 3-1. The Panthers would score two more goals before the Petrels were able to earn their second goal of the day. Regardless of the impressive performance by the Petrels in the first quarter, the Panthers would record eight unanswered goals to end the second quarter. By halftime, the Panthers were winning 13-2. In the second half, the Panthers were able to score 10 goals compared to only two by the Petrels. The Petrels lost 23-4 and have dropped to 1-10 on the season overall, as well as 0-5 in the SAA.
The Petrels started the game winning the faceoff and pushing the ball down field for a shot attempt. After a few missed shots by the Petrels, the Panthers regained control of the ball and were able to score the first goal of the day with 12:15 left in the first quarter. They followed that up by scoring again just 10 seconds later, and then earning their third goal minutes later. After being down 3-0, the Petrel offense would record their first goal with 9:11 remaining in the quarter. The goal was scored by sophomore attackman Braden Draucek, who was assisted by junior attackman Nathaniel Gillespie. Minutes later, the Panthers would score two goals within seconds of each other, making it 5-1. With 5:37 left in the quarter, the Petrels were able to respond with a goal from freshman middie Dwayne Taylor. The Petrels would end the quarter giving up three more goals, giving the Panthers an 8-2 advantage.
The second quarter would not improve things for the Petrels, as they gave up five unanswered goals and failed to come away with a shot attempt in the quarter. The Panthers also went a perfect 6 for 6 on faceoffs, making it difficult on the Petrel defense. Despite the lack of possessions for the Petrels, their defense held strong by not allowing a goal in the final five minutes of the half. At halftime, the Petrels were trailing 13-2.
The Petrels began the second half winning the faceoff, but quickly turned it over. After a great save by Oglethorpe freshman goalie Ramiro Juarez, the Panthers would fight for the ball back and earn their 14th goal of the day with 12:28 left in the third. The Panthers would go on to score three more goals within the next four minutes of play. Following that string of goals, the Petrels would begin to turn it around by not allowing a goal for over eight minutes of play, as well as earning a goal themselves. The goal was scored by Taylor with 5:06 left in the third quarter. The Panthers would end the third recording a goal as the clock expired.
A few minutes into the fourth quarter the Panthers were able to extend their lead out to 19-3, then followed with a couple more in quick succession. The Petrels were able to record their fourth and final goal of the day on an extra-man opportunity, though, as Taylor tallied off an assist from Gillespie.
The Petrels forced 17 turnovers and successfully cleared the ball on 16 of 19 attempts. The Petrels' goalie, Juarez, recorded 11 saves throughout the game. Junior defenseman Andrew Kwapil and Gillespie both earned a team-high with two caused turnovers apiece. Gillespie also earned two assists. Taylor led his team with four ground balls and three goals.
"We fought hard throughout the game, and were able to stay in it for much of the first half," said Oglethorpe head coach Zach Taylor. "Birmingham-Southern proved to just be too much, though, and they were able to pull away. We'll look to bounce back in the final game of our regular season next weekend."
The Petrels will return to action on Saturday at the Oglethorpe Track and Field for their final game of the regular season. They'll face off against SAA opponent Centre at 5 p.m.