Tusculum defeats Walsh 13-9 for third straight win

Tusculum defeats Walsh 13-9 for third straight win

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum College erased a second-quarter deficit with five unanswered goals in a 13-9 win over Walsh University in non-conference men's lacrosse action at Pioneer Field Saturday afternoon.

Ben Boyd led the Pioneers (3-1) with four goals and Andrew Kransberger had two goals and two assists to spark Tusculum, which trailed 4-3 late in the second quarter before tallying five straight goals in a span of 12 1/2 minutes to take the lead for good.

Alex Hudgens was the only player with multiple goals for the Cavaliers (0-2), scoring twice while Bryan Crim and Frank Savena each had a goal and an assist. Tusculum outshot Walsh 30-28 while the Cavaliers had a slim 38-33 edge in ground balls in the match.

Hudgens opened the scoring 1:46 into the first quarter for the Cavaliers, but the Pioneers came back with three goals in a row from Nate Wade, Keegan Bell and Boyd to go up 3-1 with 3:59 left in the opening quarter. However, goals by Kevin McMahon and Crim in the final 3:09 of the quarter sent the teams to the second period locked up at 3-3.

Walsh went ahead 4-3 on a Hudgens goal with 11:46 to play in the first half, only to see Tusculum score twice in the final five minutes by Dallas Wade and Boyd to go to intermission with a 5-4 lead.

Boyd netted his third of the game just nine seconds into the second half for a 6-4 Tusculum lead, and goals from Kransberger and Chris Ryan 11 seconds apart extended the Pioneers' lead to 9-4 with 7:31 left in the third. Savena and Brydan Heisler teamed up to cut the Tusculum lead to 9-6, but Boyd scored 23 seconds after Heisler as Tusculum went to the fourth quarter on top 9-6.

The Cavaliers pulled within 9-7 on a goal from Benjamin Suchomma with 10:38 to go, but the Pioneers scored three times in three minutes from Dallas Wade, Kransberger and Bell to go ahead 12-7 with 4:04 remaining. The teams alternated goals in the final 3 1/2 minutes, with tallies from Walsh's Mark Guzik and Nicholas Castorf sandwiching a goal from the Pioneers' Tyler Klarner with 2:01 left.

Bell and Dallas Wade each had two goals for the Pioneers, while Klarner had a goal and two assists. Joel Edgar had an assist and a team-high six ground balls for Tusculum, while Alexander Kleinberg had an assist and went 11-for-18 on faceoffs to go along with five ground balls. Charles Mills had three ground balls and three caused turnovers along with an assist for Tusculum, while Boyd ad Dallas Wade had three ground balls each.

Ryan Rafac and Jake Selvage shared the team lead for Walsh with six ground balls apiece, with Hudgens adding four. Rafac was 10-for-22 on faceoffs for the Cavaliers, who split the 26 faceoffs with the Pioneers evenly at 13 wins apiece. Both teams were 0-for-1 with the man advantage, while Tusculum was 13-for-18 on clears and Walsh went 15-for-19.

Tusculum goalkeeper Kevin Haggerty played all 60 minutes and recorded 10 saves in the win, while Dylan Ciolino went all the way in goal for the Cavaliers and made five stops.

The Pioneers will be home to face Brevard in their South Atlantic Conference opener on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Pioneer Field.