March 2, 2013

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No. 1 Mercyhurst Survives Scare from No. 10 Pfeiffer

from press release

MISENHEIMER, N.C. - The #1 Mercyhurst men's lacrosse team won, 9-8, at #10 Pfeiffer Saturday afternoon. Brady Heseltine scored a go-ahead goal in the fourth quarter and then Zac Reid's score clinched the non-conference win for the top-ranked Lakers.

The contest was tight throughout, with neither side going up by more than two goals at any point. The Falcons led, 1-0, after one quarter, but Mercyhurst rallied for a 5-4 edge at halftime. The teams were even at 6 through three periods.

James Chayka found Heseltine for his third goal with 13:39 left in the fourth quarter, giving the Lakers a 7-6 edge. Chayka finished a Deven Alves pass for an 8-6 lead with 11:47 to go. The hosts were not done yet, though. Steven Tilmon scored with 9:54 remaining.

Alves hit Reid for a goal and a 9-7 advantage with 5:54 showing on the clock. Pfeiffer scored to inch closer with 2:25 left, but the Laker defense stood tall, preserving the victory. A Falcon shot with five seconds left went wide and then Michael Grace made a save on Tilmon as time expired.

The first quarter featured 10 combined turnovers and just one goal. Mike Triolo gave the home team a 1-0 lead with 4:53 remaining in the frame.

The offenses started rolling in the second period. Mitch McAvoy won the opening faceoff and sprinted for a goal, scoring six seconds into the quarter. The Lakers wasted little time taking the lead, as Reid scored from Chayka with 13:19 to play. After a Falcon shot hit the post, Mercyhurst went on the offensive, with Brian Scheetz hitting Heseltine for a goal and a 3-1 advantage.

Pfeiffer responded quickly, as James Shepherd scored less than a minute later. The Lakers tried four shots on their next possession, with only the last testing Falcon goalie Hayden Kirk. Kirk made the save and the home team went on the attack. However, the Lakers forced a turnover and eventually, Trevor Vargo found the back of the net, putting Mercyhurst ahead, 4-2, with 5:54 left in the half.

A Laker penalty gave the hosts a man-up opportunity. The Falcons scored 51 seconds after Vargo to cut the deficit. Forty-three seconds after that, Shepherd scored to even the game at 4. A Pfeiffer penalty proved costly, as Reid hit Heseltine for a 5-4 lead on a man-up chance in the final minute of the half.

Pfeiffer went on the attack early in the third period, trying three shots that each went high. Spencer Allen finally cashed in, tying the game at 5 with 10:59 left in the frame. McAvoy won the ensuing faceoff and attempted a shot, which was blocked. He picked up the ground ball and then Alves assisted on a Scheetz goal, putting the Lakers back in the lead.

Neither offense could muster much until Pfeiffer capitalized on a Laker turnover in the final minute. Matt Michaeli scored with one second left in the third, pulling the Falcons back to even.

Heseltine posted his second hat trick to start the season. Reid had two goals and an assist, while Alves dished out three assists. Chayka recorded a goal and two helpers and Scheetz had a goal and an assist. Grace totaled six saves in net. McAvoy and Ryan Sullivan each collected four ground balls. Shepherd led Pfeiffer with two goals and an assist.

The shots favored Mercyhurst, 28-26, and the Lakers grabbed 28 ground balls, compared to 20 for the home team. Mercyhurst also won 12-20 faceoffs and held the Falcons' man-up attack, stopping Pfeiffer on four of five chances.

Mercyhurst improved to 2-0 and will host St. Michael's in the 2013 home opener on March 10. Pfeiffer dropped to 4-1 this season.


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