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Last-minute goal boosts North Greenville past Pioneers, 10-9

Last-minute goal boosts North Greenville past Pioneers, 10-9

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Alex Proly scored the winning goal with 38 seconds left as North Greenville edged Tusculum 10-9 in non-conference men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Field.

Chris Carpenter led the Crusaders (3-1) with four goals and two assists while faceoff specialist Logan Bryant scored twice and went 15-for-21 at the dot for North Greenville, which led 9-7 in the fourth quarter before Tusculum tied the game on goals in the final four minutes from Chris Ryan and Tyler Klarner, the latter with 51.9 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 9-9.

Klarner led the Pioneers (1-2) with three goals and an assist while Keegan Bell had a goal and two assists and Liam Macdonald added a pair of goals. Dallas Wade and Andrew Kransberger each had a goal and an assist for the Pioneers, who were outshot 38-31 by the Crusaders but received 15 saves from freshman goalie Patrick Thomas in the loss.

Tusculum opened the scoring on a goal by Klarner with 11:48 left in the first quarter, but North Greenville came back with three goals in 3 1/2 minutes as Carpenter scored twice and assisted on a Blake Thompson goal as the Crusaders took a 3-1 with 7:17 left in the first quarter. The Pioneers cut the deficit to 3-2 as Macdonald scored with 10.1 seconds to play in the opening quarter.

The Pioneers tied the game at 3-3 as Bell fed Wade with 11:17 remaining in the second quarter, but Bryant won the faceoff and scored 10 seconds later to restore North Greeneville's lead at 4-3. Carpenter's third goal of the day gave the Crusaders a 5-3 lead with 9:26 left in the half, but Tusculum surged back as Kransberger cut the deficit to 5-4 with 7:47 left, and Klarner and Macdonald came through 26 seconds apart as the Pioneers went on top 6-5 and carried the lead into halftime.

The Pioneers went ahead 7-5 just over five minutes into the third quarter on a goal from Bell, but a goal from Chris Wieckhorst was followed eight seconds later by a faceoff win and goal from Bryant to tie the game at 7-7 with 9:09 remaining in the period. Hunter Burgett gave North Greenville the lead back with 3:36 left in the third quarter, and the Crusaders took the 8-7 lead into the final quarter.

Carpenter found the net for the fourth time with 12:54 remaining to give the Crusaders a 9-7 lead, but North Greenville was unable to extend the lead despite receiving a pair of extra-man opportunities. Ryan cut the deficit to 9-8 with 3:53 left, and Klarner put home the tying goal with just under a minute to play. With overtime looming, Bryant won the faceoff and Proly scooped the ball at midfield and drove all the way through the Tusculum defense for the go-ahead goal just 14 seconds later. Bryant then won the next faceoff and collected the ground ball and the Crusaders ran out the clock without surrendering possession.

North Greenville had a 32-20 edge in ground balls in the match, led by nine from Bryant and five by Austin Dixon. Kransberger led the Pioneers with seven ground balls, with three by Macdonald. Tusculum turned the ball over 12 times and North Greenville had 11 turnovers, as Wieckhorst led the Crusaders with three caused turnovers and Joel Edgar had two for the Pioneers.

Tusculum's extra-man offense, which has converted 7-for-8 opportunities in the first two games of the season, had no chances on Saturday as North Greenville was called for zero penalties. Both teams were successful on clears, with North Greenville at 13-for-15 and Tusculum at 16-for-18.

Thomas' 15 saves were one shy of his season high set in his collegiate debut at Tampa on Feb. 4. Braeden Dixon had 10 saves in goal for the Crusaders, including four in the first quarter.

Tusculum will return to action on Friday, March 2 in a neutral-site game against Alabama Huntsville, which will be played in Nashville and start at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.

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