Poets drop second straight; Comeback falls short to Messiah 9-8
Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
GRANTHAM, Pa. – The Whittier College men's lacrosse team dropped their second straight game to the Falcons of Messiah College in a 9-8 heartbreaker that came down to the final possession.
The Poets drop to 5-3 on the season and 1-2 on their spring break trip and wrap up their trip in a matchup against Cabrini tomorrow, Saturday, March 31 beginning at 1:00pm.
Messiah jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first quarter and used their defensive prowess which they are known for to hold the Poets to eight goals, two goals below their average.
The Falcons faceoff man Matt Emerson ignited the attack early by giving numerous opportunities to Messiah to take the early lead. He finished the game winning 16-21 faceoff's, which proved to be a big factor late in the game.
Despite extended possessions by the Poets early in the first, they were unable to connect on any of the opportunities as they remained scoreless in the first.
With 4:35 remaining in the first half Whittier's Hunter Hall found an opportunity and capitalized off of a Falcon turnover to net the Poets first goal of the game squeaking a goal by Falcon goalie Steve Kozuhowski who finished the night with 21 saves.
But Messiah quickly answered as they got two goals from Kyle Sproles and James Baden that extended their lead to 6-1 going into intermission.
Coming out in the third the Poets answered quickly as they saw the Falcons allow five goals on 11 shots, turn the ball over five times, commit three penalties, and fail two clears. This proved to be a quarter they would want back.
The Poets scored four unanswered to start the third led by freshman Foster Cunningham who tacked on two goals. He was assisted by Sam Russell who added one himself along with Hall who added his second goal of the game.
After a Falcon goal that stopped the Poet run Hall again found the back of the goal with 29 seconds to play to pull the Poets within one at 7-6.
In the final quarter the Falcons extended their lead to 9-6 after back to back goals from Schellenberg who added his 24th of the season and the eventual game winner. But Whittier didn't go away as Cunningham found a cutting Eric Omri who pulled the Poets within two followed by a Daniel McQuade goal that was due to an offensive miscue on the Falcon end of the field with less than 1:30 to go.
This pulled the Poets within one but that would be as close as they would get as Emerson regained the ensuing faceoff for the Falcons that stopped the Poet run in its tracks.