Lions fall to Pioneers in SAC opener

Lions fall to Pioneers in SAC opener

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - The Mars Hill men's lacrosse team lost 13-5 versus Tusculum (3-3, 1-0 SAC) to open up South Atlantic Conference play for the 2018 season Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Field.

With the man advantage less than five minutes into the second frame, Parker Beaudry ripped a shot top shelf on the near side to give Mars Hill (1-5, 0-1 SAC) their first lead of the day. Tusculum responded with three straight goals in 49 seconds, including their fourth and fifth markers separated by only nine seconds. Adding another marker with 2:31 left in the half was Nate Wade, responsible for the fifth and sixth goals for the Pioneers. Dallas Wade tacked on his second of the game and fifth straight Pioneer goal with 14 seconds left in the half.

Tusculum continued to dominate offensively, scoring five unanswered goals to run their total to 10 straight tallies. Tyler Klarner and Dallas Wade each tacked on two goals along with a strike from Chris Ryan.

The scoring was slim in the final stanza with Tusculum's Charles Mills scoring the Pioneer's 11th straight goal before a marker from Tremain Hill ended the streak 40 seconds later. The Lions, with 4:39 left to play, still trailed by nine goals. Spencer Andrews pulled the Lions within eight with 25 seconds left to go, but were unable to draw any closer as the Pioneers held on to the 13-5 lead to come away with their first conference victory of the season.

At the end of the first quarter, Mars Hill and Tusculum were tied at two. The Pioneers struck first with Dallas Wade's 12th goal of the season 54 seconds into the contest. The Lions answered with a goal from Jake Trafton, his fifth of the season with under nine minutes remaining in the quarter. Recapturing the lead at 6:21 of the first were the Pioneers with a marker from Chris Ryan. With under four minutes to play in the opening frame, circling out from behind the net, Dima Ferreira tied the game with a nifty across the chest, over the shoulder goal for his ninth of the year.

Klarner and Ryan each had two goals and three assists for a game-high five points. Dallas Wade led all players with four goals. Ferreira and Trafton led the Lions with a goal and an assist.

Ryan Kearney made 17 saves in the losing effort while Patrick Thomas stopped 11 of 14 shots for his third win of the season.

Coming into the contest, Mars Hill and Tusculum were tied with two wins apiece against one another. The Pioneers broke the series deadlock to take a 3-2 edge in the all-time series.

The Lions next take on Florida Tech in Savannah, Georgia for a neutral site game on Wednesday, March 14 at 2 p.m.