Columbus, Ohio – A thrilling late rally by the Transylvania men's lacrosse team ran out of time as the Capital University Crusaders held off the Pioneers, 10-9 on Saturday afternoon at Bernlohr Stadium.
Capital moved to 5-1 on the season while the Pioneers dropped to 4-3 overall following Saturday's result.
A back-and-forth game in the first half for the Crusaders and Titans gave way to a more extreme swing of momentum in the second half as Capital nearly witnessed a comfortable home lead evaporate to the Pioneers as Transylvania's final tying goal came up just short in the final seconds.
The teams worked their way to the dramatic finish with a 3-0 opening burst by the Crusaders in both halves. Trenton Sneed broke the scoreless start for Transylvania at the 4:12 mark of the first quarter on a setup from AJ Teague.
Capital increased its distance from Transy to 4-1 with an early second-quarter goal as the Crusaders appeared to be increasingly in control at home. But Teague answered with his first goal of the game to catalyze a string of four straight goals by the Pioneers as Transylvania went on top, 5-4 with 7:15 left in the half. Bryce Lowe struck with the Pioneers' third goal of the game and Corbyn Buchart and Nic Bailey each scored within the next four minutes.
The Crusaders tied up the game with the final goal of the half with four and a half minutes to go and used that momentum to lead into the second half as they reeled off three more goals to craft a 9-5 advantage with 4:45 remaining in the third quarter.
Kayd Aquino stopped the run by Capital with a goal at the 1:29 mark of the third quarter to make the score 9-6 in favor of the Crusaders. Aquino continued his offensive involvement by assisting Jacob Miller to open up the fourth quarter as the Pioneers drew near to Capital again at 9-7 with under nine minutes to go.
Capital captured a crucial score with 6:53 to go to take a 10-7 lead. But the Pioneers refused to quit as Bryce Lowe scored less than two minutes following the Crusaders' 10th goal to slice Capital's lead to 10-8.
With time ticking, Alex Cherry found the back of the net at the 1:41 minute mark to draw the Pioneers within a goal at 10-9.
Back on defense, the Pioneers were able to force a failed clear by Capital and retain possession with just over a minute to go. Lowe took one shot at goal with 43 seconds to go, but Crusader goalie TJ Johnson made a clutch save. The Pioneers hounded Johnson into a successive turnover to retake possession. Sneed fired one final shot from the right side with 10 seconds to go but Johnson came up with another denial. Though the Pioneers took control of the ball again, time ticked down and the buzzer sounded without Transylvania being able to get close to the goal.
Lowe led the Pioneers with two goals along with one ground ball and one caused turnover. Peyton Bray paced the Pioneers with five ground balls. Goalie Michael Webb picked up the loss with a 14-save day. Transylvania produced an 88 percent clearance rate while Capital was 74 percent on clears.
Transylvania returns to play on Wednesday, March 20 at Earlham College. The Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference matchup will commence at 7:00 p.m.
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