Photos by: Justin McGowan
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Lacrosse team needed all 60:00 minutes Saturday night to pull off the 14-8 victory against Elmhurst College.
The Purple & Gold recognized their five seniors prior to the game, which included Chris Burley (San Diego, Calif.), Jared Holguin (Encinitas, Calif.), Max Lepley (San Clemente, Calif.), Dakota Turgeon (Bellingham, WA), and Kevin O'Donnell (Carlsbad, Calif.). With the win the Poets improve to 10-1 and are currently riding a four-game winning streak.
The Bluejays jumped out on top 5-2 after the first quarter, putting the Poets in unfamiliar territory. But in the second it was all Whittier blanking Elmhurst 6-0 to take an 8-5 lead into the half. The third quarter was deadlocked at 3-3 but it was the final 15:00 minutes that proved the difference with Whittier again shutting out the Bluejays offense 3-0 to pull off the six goal victory.
Elmhurst added the first goal of the game but then saw Nate Heritage (Bellingham, WA) and Sergei Jacobs (Edmonds, WA) go back to back to put WC on top 2-1. The final 8:00 minutes of the period though were owned by Elmhurst putting together four unanswered.
In the second quarter, man-up opportunities proved crucial for the Purple & Gold with four of their six connections coming with an advantage. Ryland Clay (Aurora, CO) added the first two goals and was followed by Billy Shaffer (Tucson, AZ), Heritage, and Jacobs.
The lead was stretched to five out of the break with Heritage and Shaffer going back to back. Elmhurst though would bounce back with three of their own that pulled them within two at 10-8. But with under a minute to play Guss Simpson (Seattle, WA) was able to capitalize in transition moving the score to 11-8.
The final three goals in the fourth came from freshmen. Jacobs extended the lead back to four and Ronan Dooney (Portland, OR) would tack on insurance over the final nine minutes that put the game out of reach.
Jacobs had a game finishing with four goals and two assists. Heritage added three goals and a dime and Dooney, Clay, and Shaffer each went off for two goals and an assist. Chris Burley (San Diego, Calif.) added an assist with four groundballs and O'Donnell led the circle going 13-for-25 with eight groundballs. Turgeon played all 60:00 minutes between the posts collecting 13 saves against 21 shots and on defense Daniel Ball (Los Angeles, Calif.), Jacob Berggren (Tualatin, OR), and Dooney each provided two caused turnovers.
Whittier held the edge on shots 34-32 and was 13-for-26 on face-offs. They were 20-for-22 on clear attempts, picked up 34 groundballs and was an impressive 5-for-6 on man-ups opportunities.
Whittier has their final home game this Thursday, March 28 when they host Oberlin College beginning at 5:30pm.