Burns Earns First Coaching Victory at Bellarmine
from press release
MACON, Ga. — The Bellarmine University lacrosse team picked up their first win of the season Saturday afternoon at Mercer University, taking down the Bears 13-5 in a non-conference NCAA Division I contest. The win also marked the first career victory for Bellarmine Coach Kevin Burns.
The Knights fell behind 1-0 after a Mercer goal just 58 seconds into the game but came storming back as Colton Clark completed the hat trick in the first quarter alone. After getting the tying score on a goal by Will Cary—assisted by Clark—the Knights roared past the Bears to claim a 6-2 first quarter lead as Clark scored four the Bellarmine's next five goals.
"We settled down and really executed a lot better than we did in our first game," said Burns. "Colt (Clark) only had one assist in the first game, so he decided to dodge and go to the rack a lot more, and it worked out well."
The 2nd quarter saw each team pick up just one goal as the Knights took a 7-3 lead into halftime. After the break, Mercer showed a bit of life by scoring the opening goal and trimming the lead to just 7-4. However, the Knights fired up their offense and their defense stiffened as BU went on a 4-0 run to take command of the game. The teams traded goals to end the quarter and BU took a 12-5 lead into the final 15 minutes.
Bellarmine's Trevor Timmerberg tacked on a goal for the Knights,
which was the final tally of the game.
The Knights were efficient with the ball, successfully clearing 18 of 19 attempts and committing just six turnovers on the game.
"Mercer is a very disciplined team, so he fact that we didn't give them second chances through turnovers was huge," Burns said. "From top to bottom we executed our game plan just the way we wanted, so I'm very happy about that."
Clark led the Bellarmine attack with four goals and an assist while Cameron Gardner, Michael Ward and Austin Bright tallied two goals apiece. Robert Schmitt led in assists with two from his long stick middie position. Mercer was led by Eoin Collins who had two goals and an assist.
Defensively the Knights were solid as two of the Bears goals were scored in extra-man opportunities as Bellarmine goalie Dillon Ward put up another good game with 13 saves. "Dillon played really well in the cage," Burns said. "He bailed us out a couple of times with good saves."
Bellarmine evens its record at 1-1 while Mercer falls to 0-3 on the season.
The Knights return to action on Friday, March 2 as they host Loyola in their first ECAC game of the season. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m., which will mark the first home night game in the history of the Bellarmine lacrosse program.