Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College men's lacrosse team had one day to prepare for the Tigers of DePauw University after flying home from their Spring Break on Sunday but they continued where they left off from their trip earning a lopsided 14-0 victory to improve to 4-2 on the season.
The Poets combined for a season high 14 goals in the first half and despite being held to just two in the second their stifling defense made it difficult for the Tigers to get any good looks on goal late as they rolled to their first shutout of the season.
Hunter Hall (Littleton, CO) started things off with an unassisted goal at the 13:29 mark and was immediately followed by Tommy Andrews (Tustin, Calif.) who found the back of the goal on the Poets second possession.
Jonathan Kassity (San Clemente, Calif.) would get into the mix seven minutes later to move the score to 3-0 before Danny Prevedel (Denver, CO) and Matt Penick (Westerly, RI) wrapped up the scoring in the first quarter to push the Purple & Gold in front 5-0.
The Poets didn't let up in the second as they would add another seven goals, three, which came in a fifteen second window from Maxwell Jones (Fircrest, WA), Andrews, and Scott Pescheret (Eagan, MN). The last four would be added from Kassity, Eric Omri (Bellevue, WA), Kevin Ewing (Annapolis, MD), and Jones that brought WC into the half up 12-0.
Despite only having two goals scored in the second half, Whittier saw all 28 players on the roster find the field getting significant playing time with freshman Sean Sternberg (Bellevue, WA) adding his first collegiate score that gave Whittier 14 goals on the evening.
Nathan Kleponis (Tustin, Calif.) got the start for the Poets and collected three saves in the win. Freshman Alex Sohn (Pleasanton, Calif.) preserved the shutout as he played the second half turning away five shots.
Tom Kryspin for DePauw faced 30 shots and had 16 saves. The Poets totaled a season high 56 shots compared to the Tigers 13. They also held the advantage on groundballs 25-13, clears at 17-18 and saw Pescheret own 11-15 face offs.
Kassity finished the game with two goals and an assist, while picking up a groundball. Defensively, Thomas Brook (Puyalluup, WA), Penick, and Max Myrick (San Diego, Calif.) led the shutout each forcing three turnovers.
"I thought we were a little lethargic and unfocused this afternoon. I'd like to see more energy on game day than we showed this afternoon," explained Head Coach Brian Kelly. "The freshmen have been working hard with Eric O'Brien (Reading, MA) and Nick Angileri (San Jose, Calif.) seeing lots of time at the defensive midfield but we are looking ahead and we need to improve in all facets of the game. We want to get a little bit better every day and need to continue refining team systems as well as fundamental skills."
Whittier remains at home this Friday, March 28 as they host Dominican University at 7:00pm in one of the biggest match-ups of the season.