March 16, 2013

Bellarmine Grinds Out Victory, Improves to 6-1

from press release

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Bellarmine University Knights lacrosse team moved to 6-1 (2-1 ECAC) on Saturday after a 12-5 victory over the Mercer University Bears.

Both teams struggled to find their offensive rhythm early on and it was Karsen Leung who tallied the first score of the day just 1:40 into the game off of a feed from LSM Bobby Schmitt.

It would be nearly eight minutes before Mercer was able to respond with a goal of their own from junior Cole Branch.

Bellarmine took a 2-1 lead into the second quarter after Lance Robinson was able to corral a loose ball on the crease and slide it past Bears goalkeeper Mike Nugent with just 13 seconds to play in the first.

The Knights seized control of the game in the second quarter behind four unanswered goals from three different players.

It was Leung again finding the scoresheet after the senior was able to scoop up a loose ball on the crease and score on a dazzling over the shoulder finish.

Leung completed his hat trick with 3:41 to play in the first half off of a Robinson assist. Robinson, surveying the field from behind the cage, found Leung who fired a rocket shot into the top left corner of the net, giving the Knights a 5-1 lead.

Will Cary would tack on one more score for Bellarmine before going into halftime with a 6-1 lead.

Mercer, determined to claw their way back, scored back-to-back third quarter goals from Zack Ward and Chris Baxa, cutting the deficit to three at 6-3.

Bellarmine was able to answer the Bears' run with a two goal run of their own, reclaiming a five goal lead at 8-3 moving into the fourth quarter.

Like the third quarter, it was Mercer finding the back of the net first in the fourth with a goal from Keoni Rausch. Rausch cut the Bellarmine lead to four, but it was the closest the Bears would come for the rest of the game.

The Knights scored four straight goals, including a man-down tally from Michael Ward, to take a 12-4 lead and salt the game away. Ward carried the ball into the box and dodged from the left wing to his right hand, firing an underhand shot into the net passed the Bears' Nugent.

Mercer would find a consolation goal with 00:38 to play on a Ward score assisted from Baxa, making the final tally 12-5.

Coming off of a huge game against Air Force, it was the Knights' attack unit having another solid outing against Mercer. Robinson tallied two goals and two helpers, Ward scored three goals and Cameron Gardner scored once and dished out one assist.

The Knights midfield also contributed offensively. Leung had a career day accumulating six points on three goals and three assists. Cary also chipped in two goals, while Brogan Hill added a goal and an assist.

On Saturday Bellarmine's defensive unit showed why they are allowing less than seven goals per game. The long-poles were able to lock down the Bears' dynamic attackmen Baxa and Ward, who only scored one goal and two goals respectively.

Knights' LSM Schmitt also had another big day offensively as well as defensively. The sophomore from Louisville tallied two helpers, while causing three turnovers and scooping up six groundballs.

With the win over Mercer in the books the Knights now turn their focus to a huge ECAC game against the top 20 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday. Head Coach Kevin Burns knows the game against the Buckeyes will be no easy task and is pivotal in terms of ECAC standings. “We are going to need to have a great week of practice this week. Beating a team like OSU takes commitment to a gameplan and precise execution.”   

The Knights will take the field on Saturday Mar. 23 at 7 p.m. for the clash under the lights with Ohio State.



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