Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. - The Whittier College Men's Lacrosse team was tested Tuesday night holding off a late fourth quarter charge by Gwynedd Mercy to pull off the 11-10 victory.
Due to two lightning delays the game took almost three hours to complete. But in the end the Purple & Gold came out on top improving to 3-0 on the season.
The Poets scored on their opening possession with Ronan Dooney (Portland, OR) getting right back to where he left off Monday night. The Griffins though were able to respond matching WC goal for goal. At the 3:38 mark, Whittier was able to go on top 3-2 thanks to an unassisted goal from Nate Heritage (Bellingham, WA) but that lead again diminished as Jacob Dziergowski for Gwynedd Mercy was able to capitalize on a man-up tying things up at the end of one quarter.
Whittier took over in the 2nd outscoring the Griffins 3-1 with connections coming from Guss Simpson and Heritage. This gave them a 6-4 advantage at the break.
Out of the break both teams swapped goals that kept it a two goal differential. Dooney and Heritage again answered for the Purple & Gold. Then in the fourth, Whittier started pulling away picking up the first three goals of the frame from Nick Brisbee (Lake Oswego, OR), Billy Shaffer (Tucson, AZ), and Miles Moscato (Lake Oswego, OR) that made the score 11-6. After that the rain and lightning came forcing the game into a halt for almost an hour.
From the break, the Griffins came out fired up and made one final push over the remaining seven minutes. Ryan Gartenmayer started the run off getting fed by Kohler Setley and was followed by Daniel Decker who cut the deficit to three with an unassisted strike. The Poets were unfortunate after that getting called for a slashing penalty allowing Gwynedd Mercy to add another to get within two. After picking up the ensuing faceoff, Ryan Simpson made it a one-goal game for GMU after he came down with 1:06 to play. But that's as close as they would get as Whittier was able to force a turnover late and hold on for the one-goal victory.
Dakota Turgeon (Bellingham, WA) played all 60:00 minutes finishing with 14 saves. Heritage led the offense with four goals and Dooney added two goals and two assists with two groundballs and two caused turnovers. Kevin O'Donnell (Carlsbad, Calif.) finished 11-24 on face-offs but also had four groundballs and two caused turnovers.
Whittier was outshot on the evening 41-28 and was edged 28-27 on groundballs. They were 11-of-24 on faceoffs and 13-of-19 on clear attempts.
Whittier returns to the field this Saturday, March 9 for their third game in a week. They will host Wittenberg at 10:00am.