MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill (4-7, 1-6 SAC) men's lacrosse team dropped a 12-7 decision to visiting Tusculum (10-2, 6-1 SAC) on Saturday afternoon at Meares Stadium. The Pioneers used a strong second half to pull away with the conference win.
Dima Ferreira led the Lions offensively with two goals while five other players contributed one goal each. Nathan Stewart tallied a team-high nine ground balls and Addison Sowell went a remarkable 17-of-21 from the faceoff position, easily his best performance of the season. Ben Boyd scored four goals to lead Tusculum while Keegan Bell added three. Chris Ryan produced three assists in the winning effort.
Spencer Andrews got the Lions on the board first after taking a pass from Jake Trafton and connecting on an over-the-shoulder goal at the 14:03 mark of the opening quarter. Tusculum evened the contest at one each when Ross Parsons found the back of the net, but Connor Fernandes gave the Blue and Gold the lead right back with a score of his own.
Down 2-1, the Pioneers reeled off four straight goals over the span of eight minutes to take a 5-2 lead heading into the second stanza. However, quarter number two belonged to the Lions as they ripped off a 4-0 run of their own to jump back in front 6-5 heading into the break. Ferreira added two goals during the run, while Alex Lipsky and Keaton Lissel also joined in on the scoring.
Following the halftime intermission Tusculum took control of the contest with three consecutive goals to open the second half, building an 8-6 lead with just over five minutes left in the third. Stewart snapped the scoring run with an even-man goal at the 2:47 mark, but that would be the last goal the Lions would score.
The Pioneers outscored Mars Hill 4-0 in the fourth period to coast to a comfortable 12-7 victory. Ryan Kearney (4-6) was tagged with the loss after playing all 60 minutes in the cage, collecting 11 saves, while Kevin Haggerty (10-2) earned the win, also going all 60 minutes with 13 saves.
Tusculum held a minimal 37-36 edge on shots, but Mars Hill collected 43 ground balls compared to 25 for TC.
Prior to the contest head coach Dave Klarmann and the Mars Hill Athletics Department honored seven seniors for their contributions and efforts to the Lions' lacrosse program. Alex Lipsky, Hunter Maggs, Asyck Schildt, Nathan Stewart, Nick Lilly, Addison Sowell, and Mike McKee were all honored on the afternoon.
The Lions will close out the home portion of their schedule on Wednesday, April 19 as they play host to North Greenville University. That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.