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WildCats Nearly Pull off Comeback

Charles won 13 faceoffs on Saturday
Charles won 13 faceoffs on Saturday

For Immediate Release – 4/15/17 - #300
WildCats Nearly Pull off Comeback

LYNCHBURG, VA – The Randolph College men's lacrosse team dropped its Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) contest on Saturday night against Bridgewater College.  The game was close throughout, but the WildCats comeback attempt came up short, as the team fell 9-8.

The first quarter showed what would happen throughout the remainder of the game.  Both teams had several good early chances, but Kevin Metzger and Matt Lindenbaum both made great saves to keep the score at 0-0.  However, it was the Eagles that would break the deadlock first.  Lindenbaum made two more big saves after that, setting up the 'Cats first of the night.  Kadri Hearns hit Christian Shanley on the left side, and Shanley let it rip.  Both teams caused turnovers over the final minutes, with Prince Charles and Spencer Matthews forcing BC into giving the ball away, as the score remain tied at one.

The second period provided quicker fireworks and more of them.  Blake Mann was able to tally his first of the night, less than one-minute in.  However, just over a minute later, Shane Soghomonian tied the score.  He caught a pass from Brett Pausic, and went low on his shot.

The trade continued as Jake Truman scored shortly after Bridgewater won the next faceoff, but Randolph responded.  Graham Southwick drove on the left side and ripped his shot into the lower right corner to tie things at three.  After fine defensive work on both sides, the Eagles were able to take lead again, but it would not last long.

The 'Cats posted several shots on goal, but were either wide of the net or stopped by Metzger.  Then, Mitch MacDonald caused a turnover on the ride, and Soghomonian found the back of the net for the second time of the night.  Ryan Campbell hit him after a series of quick passes to tie things at four.  One minute later, the WildCats earned a man-up and worked the zone well.  The offense got the defense to move in the wrong direction and Campbell hit Southwick, whose low shot on the baseline found the netting.  Randolph would hold the 5-4 lead into the half, after McKinzie Garnett and Charles both forced late turnovers.

The start of the second half once again saw quick goals, but this time, the teams traded bursts.  Bridgewater opened up with two quick tallies, before the WildCats responded with two of their own.  After the second BC tally, Charles knew he was not going to be able to pick up the ground ball.  He hit the ball out of the air to Southwick.  The senior sprinted toward the goal and fired it home.  Then after the 'Cats won the next faceoff, Southwick drove on the right side, switched hands, and hit a diving shot, to retake the home lead.

However, that would be the last of the scoring of the period.  Lindenbaum and Metzger both stopped two shots, setting up a tight fourth.

The Eagles tied the score on a man-up with 11:49 left and retook the lead with 8:15 left.  Mann tallied on a behind the back shot, with two defenders guarding him.  BC pushed the lead to two with 4:04 to play, but the 'Cats made one final push.

Randolph had several shots, and finally found the net with 1:23 left.  Pausic hit Shane Shifflet on the doorstep, passing it from 'X'.  Shifflet quickly shot it to bring Randolph back within one.   The WildCats had another opportunity but the shot went to BC.  Soghomonian picked off a clearing pass and the 'Cats had two more shots, but Metzger saved the last one at the horn, giving the Eagles the 9-8 win.

The WildCats dominated the game at faceoff, winning 15 of 21 attempts.  Charles won 13, while Alex Leyva had the other two.  Pausic scooped up a team-high six ground balls, while Matthews and Charles each forced three turnovers.  Southwick led the team with four goals.  Metzger had 15 saves in the win for Bridgewater (6-7 overall, 2-4 ODAC).

Randolph (4-9, 0-6) will play its last nonconference game of the year on Tuesday.  The WildCats will host Methodist University (12-3) at 5 p.m.