The Oglethorpe men's lacrosse team hung tough against the homestanding Huntingdon Hawks Wednesday night in Montgomery, Alabama, scoring four goals in the second quarter to remain in the game at halftime, down by just five. Huntingdon pulled away in the second half, though, outscoring the Stormy Petrels 9-3 over the final 30 minutes to win 18-7. The loss dropped the Petrels to 0-2 on the young season.
The Hawks ran out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, holding the Petrels scoreless over the opening frame. However, Oglethorpe responded with four goals in the second quarter. After a Huntingdon goal gave the home side a 5-0 lead, the Petrels responded with a pair of tallies, as junior attackman Nathaniel Gillespie finished off a feed from sophomore attackman Braden Draucek with 8:33 left until halftime. Oglethorpe cut their deficit to just three goals a minute later, as junior middie Jibril Stapleton collected a pass from Gillespie and finished past Huntingdon goalie Matt Murphy to make it 5-2. After another Hawk goal, Gillespie scored again at the 3:35 mark. Draucek picked up his first goal of the game off of Gillespie's second assist with 55 seconds left, but the Hawks scored three more goals late in the period, extending their lead to 9-4 at the break.
Draucek scored again early in the third, and freshman attackman Charles Broome collected the first goal of his career with 2:12 remaining in the period off an assist from Draucek. However, Huntingdon scored five goals in the period to extend their lead to 14-6 headed into the fourth quarter. They then put the game away with four consecutive goals to start the fourth quarter. Stapleton tallied his second goal of the game with 2:56 remaining off Gillespie's third assist, but the Hawks finished off the game from there en route to an 11-goal win.
Stapleton, Gillespie and Draucek scored two goals each, while Gillespie led all competitors with three assists. Freshman middie Brian Green led the Petrels with four ground balls. Freshman goalie Ramiro Juarez stopped 11 shots over the course of the game.
Huntingdon outshot the Petrels 40-22, including a 29-13 margin in shots on goal. The Petrels committed 15 turnovers and were 7 for 13 on clear attempts. Huntingdon scooped 38 ground balls to Oglethorpe's 20.
"I thought we fought hard against a good Huntingdon team tonight," said Oglethorpe head coach Zach Taylor. "We had some solid individual performance and did a good job sticking in against a solid team on the road. Our goal is just to continue getting better as we lead up to the SAA season, and that effort continues Sunday night back at home against Lyndon State."
The Petrels will host the visiting Hornets Sunday at 7 p.m. from the Oglethorpe Track and Field. After the matchup with Lyndon State, the Petrels will head up to Ohio on their spring break trip, where they'll take on Muskingum on Wednesday, March 7, and Mount St. Joseph on Friday, March 9.