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Pioneers escape with 11-10 win at Newberry in SAC opener

Pioneers escape with 11-10 win at Newberry in SAC opener

NEWBERRY, S.C. --- Luke Doehring scored the go-ahead goal with 3:34 left in the fourth quarter as Tusculum University recovered after losing a five-goal lead to defeat Newberry College 11-10 Saturday night in South Atlantic Conference men's lacrosse action at Setzler Field.

Doehring had scored with 6:09 left to give the Pioneers a 10-9 lead, but the Wolves' Scott Reed scored just 15 seconds later to tie the game at 10-10. The Pioneers (3-3, 1-0 SAC) then killed off a two-man down opportunity in the final seconds to escape with the win over the Wolves (3-3, 0-1 SAC), who had trailed 5-0 after one quarter and were outshot 45-25 by Tusculum.

Liam Macdonald led the Pioneers with four goals and an assist, while Doehring had both of his goals in the final period. Lorenz Brown had a goal and an assist for the Pioneers, who also received goals from Braden Elam, Josh Pickford, Tristan Kirkham and Kale Lawrence in the win.

Justin Messersmith had three goals and two assists for the Wolves, with two goals apiece from Curtis Butka and Cole Bates. Newberry trailed 6-3 at halftime and 9-6 after three quarters before drawing even at 9-9 on a goal from Zachary Sunderland with 7:27 remaining.

The first quarter was all Tusculum, as the Pioneers put three goals on the board in the first 4 1/2 minutes en route to a 5-0 lead. Kirkham opened the scoring just 49 seconds into the first quarter, followed by a pair of goals from Macdonald and one apiece from Elam and Pickford. Tusculum outshot Newberry 18-4 in the first quarter and had a 12-4 edge in ground balls.

Newberry got on the board on a man-up goal from Butka with 13:28 left in the second quarter, but Macdonald got his third of the night for a 6-1 Tusculum lead with 9:57 to go. Bates scored twice in a span of 1 minute, 33 seconds late in the half as the Wolves went to intermission trailing 6-3.

After just over nine minutes of scoreless play in the third quarter, Brown scored with 5:54 left to give the Pioneers a 7-3 lead. The goal by Brown unleashed a flurry as the teams would score a total of six times in the final six minutes of the period, including two by Messersmith to trim the Tusculum lead to 7-5. Lawrence would score with 14 seconds to play in the period to give the Pioneers a 9-6 lead heading to the fourth.

Newberry scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter to tie the game, as Butka, Messersmith and Sunderland all found the net. Doehring scored his first go-ahead goal with 6:09 to go, then gave the Pioneers the lead for good on a rebound with 3:34 remaining. Newberry did not have a shot attempt the rest of the match, but had a man-up opportunity with 28 seconds left that turned into a two-man advantage with four seconds to go. The Wolves played the ball in front but were turned away by the defense as time expired.

Tusculum faceoff man Andy Michalski won 13 of his 23 faceoffs and had a team-high six ground balls for the Pioneers, while Elam had four and Jordan Daniel, Lawrence and Brown had three apiece. Garet McMahon and Brad Chambliss each had three ground balls for the Wolves, who turned the ball over 15 times to 13 by the Pioneers.

Tusculum goalkeeper Ross Geiger recorded eight saves in the match, while Newberry's Jahn Skinner-Ligon had 15 saves for the Wolves including nine in the second half.

The Pioneers will return home to face first-year program Quincy University on Tuesday, March 10 at 5 p.m. at Pioneer Field.

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