By Joshua J. Darling, Sports Information Director
LAGRANGE, Ga. – Holding a 7-3 lead early in the third quarter, LaGrange (6-5, 2-1 USA South) brought the heat with six straight goals to put the game out of reach early in the fourth as they pounded Huntingdon (5-6, 1-2 USA South) 17-7 in an NCAA Division III men's lacrosse game on Wednesday, March 29.
The Panthers would get on the board early as senior midfielder Klein Woods (Macon, Ga.) picked up where he left off from his six goal game last week as he took it himself at the 11:43 mark. Sophomore attackmen Ryan Comeau (Canton, Ga.) then doubled the lead off a pass from junior attackman Michael Poteete (Evans, Ga.) with just over seven minutes left in the opening frame before Ian Bruggeman got HC on the board at the 2:56 mark.
That would happen just twice over the next two quarters, however, as senior midfielder Ben Bryan (Carrollton, Ga.), freshman attackman Luke Young (Acworth, Ga.) and Woods rang the bell three times over the first 7:04 of the second period for a 5-1 lead. Alexander Hero connected for the Hawks at 7:03 to quell the run but Woods would send LaGrange to the break with a 6-2 advantage after putting home his third of the half with 2:49 on the clock.
It would be more of the same in the third as Poteete wasted no time setting up Ben Bryan just 55 seconds in before Tristan Dial matched that score a little over a minute later to make it 7-3. Following 10 minutes of scoreless action for both teams, it would be the Panthers' turn to dial it up, however.
Over the last 3:32 of the third Young connected with Comeau then drove home a pass himself from sophomore midfielder Holden Samuels (Woodstock, Ga.) before sophomore attackman Andrew Brown (Metairie, La.) found Comeau for a third score to close the quarter up 10-3.
That trend would continue in the fourth with Samuels netting a pair of goals in the first 3:29 with senior FOGO Jacob Jeffords (Marietta, Ga.) squeezing one in between when he won the faceoff and raced downfield to bury home one of his own.
Huntingdon would finally manage a sustained offensive push but it would be too little, too late as scores by Kelcey Marston, Kole Andres, Bruggeman and Gage Kettlewell served only to pull to within 14-7 before one last barrage by Woods, Jeffords and Comeau in the final 2:50 put the finishing touches on a commanding 17-7 victory.
Bruggeman would be the only Hawk with multiple points, finishing with a pair of goals, while Dial, Hero, Andres, Kettlewell and Marston each notched solo scores to anchor the offense. EJ Umphries went the distance in goal, allowing all 17 goals while making 18 saves to fall to 4-6.
While the offense would be on display for LaGrange, it would be the defense that allowed them free reign as they held the USA South's leading scorer, Kettlewell (36 goals entering play), to just one score and third leading goal scoring unit to just seven – less than half of their season average (14.5).
Woods would once again be ever present, powering home a game-high tying four goals to go with three groundballs and a pair of caused turnovers with Comeau matching that offensive production with four scores of his own. Ben Bryan drilled home three while Young and Samuels each had two goals and an assist. Helping to fuel that offensive outburst were Poteete and Brown, who each had two assists. Jeffords notched a pair of scores and went 17-of-27 at the center "X" with a game-high 11 groundballs.
In net, senior goalkeeper Isaac Bohrer (Fayetteville, Ga.) played all 60 minutes and allowed just seven goals while making 11 saves to improve to 5-5 on the year.
The Panthers hit the road for their second game of the week as they head back to North Carolina to take on Greensboro on Saturday, April 1. Game time is set for 1 p.m. in Greensboro, North Carolina.