The Oglethorpe men's lacrosse team picked up its first win of the season Friday afternoon in Cincinnati, defeating the homestanding Mount St. Joseph Lions 9-5 in a game where they led by as many as six goals early in the second half. The victory improved the Stormy Petrels to 1-4 on the season.
Mount St. Joseph scored the game's opening goal barely 10 seconds in, but that was all they would get for almost the next 27 minutes of game action. Junior middie Nathaniel Gillespie and sophomore attackman Braden Draucek scored unassisted goals in the first to give Oglethorpe a 2-1 lead headed to the second quarter.
The Petrels continued their excellent play from late in the first quarter there, scoring four goals in a row in the second and tallying five of the six markers in the period. Freshman middie Dwayne Taylor and sophomore attackman Cameron Ritter scored goals in the opening five minutes of the period to give the visitors a 4-1 lead, then Draucek came back with another goal right at the 10-minute mark, assisted by Gillespie, to make it 5-1. Taylor made it 6-1 at the 4:56 mark and, after a Mount St. Joseph man-up goal, freshman attackman Charles Broome converted off a feed from Draucek at the 1:28 mark to give the Petrels a 7-2 advantage going into the halftime break.
Draucek started the second half by tallying another goal to give Oglethorpe its largest lead of the contest, an 8-2 edge, with 14:38 left in the third quarter. The Lions answered with a couple goals in quick succession to cut the Oglethorpe lead to 8-4 with 12:30 left in the period, but the Petrels pushed their lead back to five when junior middie Jibril Stapleton found the back of the net with 4:39 left in the period.
The Petrels were unable to dent the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, but it didn't matter, as they played excellent defense and held Mount St. Joseph to just one goal over the final 15 minutes, securing the 9-5 victory.
Draucek led the Petrels with a hat trick, while Taylor added a couple goals, as well. Sophomore middie Jack Brand led all participants with six ground balls, while junior defenseman Andrew Kwapil recorded a game-high seven caused turnovers. Freshman goalie Ramiro Juarez added nine saves.
The Petrels outshot the Lions 39-26 for the game, including a 24-14 margin in shots on goal. Oglethorpe scooped 31 ground balls while Mount St. Joseph came up with just 19. The Petrels forced 27 Mount St. Joseph turnovers, as well, and they won 10 of 18 faceoffs while proving successful on all five of their clear attempts.
"Our guys are really excited," said Oglethorpe head coach Zach Taylor. "It's great to get our first win of the year, especially after we felt like we left a couple that we could've won on the table. We still have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball, and we'll be playing a very good Dallas team on Tuesday. Right after that, we'll be heading into conference play, which is the most important part of our season. It's been exciting to see the guys develop and get better over the course of the year. We've still got seven games to keep improving."
The Petrels will welcome Dallas to the Oglethorpe Track and Field Tuesday night at 7 p.m. before heading on the road for three straight SAA games against Hendrix, Rhodes and Sewanee.