Virginia Wesleyan falls short in bid for win over Roanoke

John Roth
John Roth

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Virginia Wesleyan College's men's lacrosse team outscored Roanoke College's Maroons 14-12 after the first quarter Saturday on Marlins Field at the Trinder Center.

But, it was the first quarter that belonged to the Maroons and carried the team to a 19-14 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) victory in a rough, physical game.

A total of 29 penalties were assessed, 18 against various Maroons who spent a collective nine short a player on the field. VWC was penalized 11 times for a total of six minutes.

Spread throughout the penalties was a lot of scoring, particularly through the last three quarters after Virginia Wesleyan (5-2, 1-1) responded to the Roanoke attack. The Maroons (6-3, 1-1) started strong, dominating nearly every facet of the game en route to an 8-0 lead. Will Pilat (Roanoke/Hidden Valley) and Tyler McWilliams (Dowington, Pa./Downington) sparked the early offense scoring three and two goals, respectively.

Roanoke opened up an 8-0 lead with a goal at the 13:04 mark of the second quarter and seemed to be headed for a runaway win when Virginia Wesleyan diverted it. The Marlins scored five unanswered goals in a little more than four minutes, including three by senior Nick Pappas(Edgewater, Md./South River) and one each by rookies Jason Tuchon (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter) and Andre Brummit(Baltimore, Md./Glen Burnie North County).

From that point on it was anybody's game. Roanoke managed to stay a step ahead, but Virginia Wesleyan stepped up its game offensively and defensively to stay within striking distance.  Roanoke led only 11-6 at halftime and saw the Marlins move within an 11-7 score just 27 seconds into the third quarter when junior Mike Moran(Woolwich, N.J./Kingsway Regional) scored off an assist from Josh Currier(Peterborough, Ontario/Holy Name-Hill Academy).

Colin MacKenzie (Hamilton, Mass./Holderness) picked up the scoring slack for Roanoke to record back-to-back goals, but Virginia Wesleyan answered quickly. Currier and Pappas scored goals within 45 seconds of each other to pull the Marlins within a 13-9 score.  Roanoke outscored VWC 4-1 in the final minutes of the quarter however, to ride a 17-10 lead into the fourth.

Tim Gunn (Sparks, Md./Hereford)scored twice for Virginia Wesleyan in the fourth as the Marlins kept the pressure on the Maroons with a 4-2 scoring edge, but Roanoke produced the plays it needed to record the win.

Pappas led all scoring with five goals, increasing his season total to 30.  Gunn and Moran recorded two goals each and Currier contributed a game-high four assists, increasing his season total to 22.

Pilat topped Roanoke scoring with four goals, followed by Colin Rossano (Topsfield, Mass./ Pingree School), McWilliams, and MacKenzie with three each.

The Marlins used Rory Finnegan(Lowell, Mass./Lowell), Ryan Sullivan(Owings, Md./Northern), and Sean Galloway (Shady Side, Md./Southern)in goal, starting with Finnegan who recored eight saves.  Charles Pease (Landisville, Pa./ Hempfield) stayed in goal for Roanoke from start to finish and recorded 12 saves.  Tutchon won 10-of-19 face-offs for VWC and Max Kraus (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) won 12-of-19 for Roanoke.

Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Wednesday, March 26, in non-conference competition at Ferrum College beginning at 3 p.m.