Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Whittier College Men's Lacrosse team started their trip back to Illinois over the weekend being edged by Illinois Wesleyan 16-13 dropping to 7-5 on the season.
The Purple & Gold and Titans swapped goals early with Nick Hernandez (La Mesa, Calif.) adding the first for the Poets. Ill. Wesleyan soon after though would add three straight that moved the score to 4-1 and despite Ashton Pieris (Burien, WA) adding his first of the game at the 3:59 mark that cut the deficit to two, the Titans still led 5-2 following the first quarter of play.
In the second, the Poets came out firing on all cylinders striking for the first five goals of the frame to take their first lead of the game at 7-5. During the run, Jackson Draper (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Nate Heritage (Bellingham, WA) each added two goals apiece, while Pieris tacked on his second of the game.
The Titans ended the run with 1:24 to play in the half capitalizing on a man-up but they still trailed 7-6.
Pieris found the back of the net for his third of the game out of the break that pushed the lead to 8-6 and would add another later on in the quarter but over the final 8:14 it was all Ill. Wesleyan as they outscored WC 4-1 to reclaim the lead at 10-9.
In the final 15:00 it was a scoring frenzy with a combined 10 goals being scored. Pieris tallied another that kept the Poets within one with 13:29 to play. Hernandez and Draper would answer soon after with back-to-back responses that kept the margin at one but again the Titans would come up with another goal on their ensuing possession that stretched the lead back to two.
The final goal for the Poets came with 2:47 to play from Nick Angileri (San Jose, Calif.) who made the score 14-13 but that would be the closest Whittier would get as Ill. Wesleyan would tack on insurance with two goals under :20 seconds to play that secured the win for the home team.
Alex Cramer (Rocky Hill, CT) played all 32:00 between the posts and totaled 16 saves against 32 shots but also picked up a team high eight groundballs.
Whittier was outshot 58-27, was 20-32 on faceoffs, was 16-23 on clear attempts and was 0-3 on man-up opportunities.
Pieris led the offense with five goals and two assists. Draper picked up three goals and an assist and Heritage registered two goals and two assists. Cooper Champagne (La Mesa, Calif.) grabbed seven groundballs from faceoffs and Angileri obtained two caused turnovers, a goal, and an assist.