Poets rally for 8-7 victory over Southwestern
Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College men's lacrosse team earned their third straight victory Sunday morning as they battled back from being 5-3 down to win 8-7 in the final two minutes over Southwestern University (TX).
In their lowest offensive output of the season the Poets were able to squeak by the Pirates thanks to a 3-1 run in the fourth quarter sparked by freshman Jonathan Kassity who pulled the Purple & Gold even at six apiece and then gave them a lead a minute later.
Defender Thomas Brook got things started for Whittier scoring the first goal of the contest after he forced a Pirate turnover and went coast to coast for his second goal of the season. After Southwestern evened the game up at 1-1, the Poets added two more goals to close out the first quarter from Zack Gagnon that gave them a 3-1 lead.
But the second quarter saw the tides change as Southwestern scored four unanswered thanks to back to back goals from Austin Fox, while holding Whittier scoreless helping them take a 5-3 lead into intermission.
Coming out of the half, the Poets found their offensive spark, while picking up the intensity on the defensive side of the ball. Gagnon added his third goal of the game, while Kassity added his first, which pulled the Poets within one after three quarters of play. In the final quarter, it was all Whittier after they tallied three goals to take a one goal advantage.
The Pirates had an opportunity with 45 seconds to play after they achieved a man up situation to send the game into overtime but senior goalie Jon Cairone had other plans as he came up with his biggest save of the season moving to his right denying Jamie Long from five yards out helping preserve the one goal victory.
On the morning Whittier saw Gagnon total four goals on six shots, while grabbing one groundball. Scott Pescheret again had an astounding game facing off as he finished with 11 groundballs, while finishing winning 12-18 face offs. Brook who tallied the first goal of the game played a very psychical game defensively forcing 11 turnovers, while collecting five groundballs.
In goal Cairone finished with his third victory on the season totaling 10 saves on 17 shots.
Whittier returns to action in two weeks when they host Eastern University on Wednesday, March 6 with game time set for 7:00pm.