14th-ranked Limestone rallies for victory over Pioneers

14th-ranked Limestone rallies for victory over Pioneers

GAFFNEY, S.C. --- Cody Solmosy scored six goals and 14th-ranked Limestone overcame a second-quarter deficit with a pair of six-goal runs as the Saints defeated Tusculum 17-6 in non-conference men's lacrosse action Wednesday night.

Clark Walter added three goals and Charlie Sheehan had two goals and two assists for the Saints (3-3), who outshot the Pioneers by a 51-35 margin and won 20-of-27 faceoffs in the match.

Liam Macdonald scored a pair of goals to lead the Pioneers (2-3) while Nate Wade and Andrew Kransberger each had a goal and an assist. The Pioneers allowed the Saints to score twice on four extra-man opportunities, but turned the ball over just nine times to 13 by Limestone.

Tusculum opened the scoring with 10:43 left in the first quarter on a goal by Macdonald, and added to the lead just over two minutes later as Kransberger found the net. Noah Lindner put the Saints into the scoring column with 4:10 left in the opening quarter, only to see Wade respond 46 seconds later to restore Tusculum's two-goal lead. Walter scored with 1:40 left in the first quarter as the Saints trailed 3-2 after one quarter.

After scoring the final goal of the first quarter, the Saints opened the second quarter with five consecutive goals from five different players, the last coming from Solmosy with 4:49 to play in the second quarter to give Limestone a 7-3 lead. Keegan Bell brought Tusculum back within 7-4 with 1:13 left in the half, but Solmosy scored with 27 seconds left to send the Saints to halftime with an 8-3 advantage.

Limestone took a 9-4 lead on a goal from Brendan Smith just under three minutes into the third quarter, but Chris Ryan scored with the man advantage as the Pioneers cut the margin to 9-5. Goals from Walter and Solmosy, the latter with the man up, pushed the Saints ahead 11-5 with 5:25 to go in the third quarter, and Macdonald and Solmosy exchanged goals in the final four minutes as Limestone led 12-6 heading into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter belonged to Limestone as Solmosy scored twice and Lindner, Sheehan and Walter each scored in the period and the Saints defense held the Pioneers to four shot attempts and no goals in the quarter.

Dakota Kirsh-Downs was dominant at the faceoff dot for the Saints, winning 20-of-25 faceoffs and collecting 15 ground balls. Matthew Nelson had four ground balls for Limestone, while Ryan and Dallas Wade shared the team lead for Tusculum with four ground balls apiece.

Patrick Thomas played 45 minutes, 54 seconds in goal for the Pioneers and had 13 saves, with Ryan Pickering in goal for the final 14:06 for Tusculum. Cole Aikens started in goal for the Saints and made 10 saves in 54:02 of action, with Danny Forren adding two stops in the final 5:58.

With its non-conference schedule complete, the Pioneers will turn their focus to South Atlantic Conference play which begins Saturday at 3 p.m. against Mars Hill at Pioneer Field.