Second-half surge leads Tusculum to 16-6 win over Pfeiffer

Chris Ryan scored a game-high four goals against Pfeiffer
Chris Ryan scored a game-high four goals against Pfeiffer

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Chris Ryan scored all four of his goals in the second half, including three straight in a 4 1/2 minute span of the third quarter, as Tusculum College defeated Pfeiffer University 16-6 in non-conference men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Field.

Two of Ryan's four goals came with the man advantage as the Pioneers (1-1) were 3-for-4 on extra-man opportunities and outscored the Falcons (0-1) 13-2 in the second half after trailing 4-3 at intermission. Ben Boyd added three goals and two assists while Keegan Bell had a goal and four assists for the Pioneers, who outshot the Falcons 33-8 in the second half and 48-25 overall.

Blade Garlow had a goal and two assists for Pfeiffer, while Cody Lamond had a pair of goals for the Falcons, who trailed 9-6 entering the fourth quarter but surrendered seven unanswered goals to the Pioneers in the final period.

Lamond scored the first goal of the game with 9:32 left in the first quarter, but the Pioneers came back with three in a row as Tyler Klarner and Bell combined to give Tusculum a 2-1 lead at the end of the opening period. A goal from Nate Wade extended the Pioneer lead to 3-1 with 8:31 left in the first half, but the Falcons received goals from Justin Oberg, Garlow and Lamond to go ahead 4-3 at halftime.

The Falcons went on top 5-3 on a goal by Kyle Barna with 11:53 remaining in the third quarter, but it would be all Pioneers from there. Klarner answered Barna's goal 32 seconds later to pull the Pioneers within one, and  Dallas Wade scored the equalizer to knot the score at 5-5 with 8:30 left in the third quarter.

The goal by Wade sparked a run of four goals in 4:17, as Liam Macdonald notched the go-ahead goal with 7:41 on the clock, then Ryan scored with the man advantage at 6:14 and again with 4:13 to go to extend the Tusculum lead to 8-5. Ryan added his third goal in a row with 1:39 left in the quarter for a 9-5 Pioneer lead before Alex Skidmore broke the run with a goal for the Falcons with four seconds left to send Tusculum to the final quarter ahead 9-6.

Another scoring outburst by the Pioneers broke the game open, as Boyd, Dallas Wade, Boyd, Ryan and Andrew Kransberger netted goals in a span of 4:10 to push the Pioneers on top 14-6 with 6:20 left. Tusculum closed out the scoring on goals by Boyd and Timothy Drumtra in the final minute.

Klarner finished with two goals and an assist for the Pioneers while Dallas Wade had two goals and Rogers and Nate Wade had a goal and an assist apiece. Tusculum finished with 34 ground balls, led by five from Alexander Kleinberg and four from Ryan, Charles Mills and Tyler Stapleton. Joel Edgar had three caused turnovers for the Pioneers, who forced the Falcons into 19 turnovers in the game.

Lamond had a team-high nine ground balls for the Falcons, in large part due to winning 14 out of 25 faceoffs in the game. Mike Moorehead played just under 56 minutes in goal for Pfeiffer and had 15 saves, while Jacob Michel had one save in the final four minutes.

Kevin Haggerty finished with nine saves for the Pioneers in 54 1/2 minutes of playing time, before giving way to Will Bender who played the final 5 minutes, 40 seconds without facing a shot.

Tusculum will return to action next Saturday on the road at Shorter for a 1:00 start against the Hawks.