BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Despite holding the game close through the majority of the first quarter, the Bridgewater Eagles men's lacrosse team couldn't overcome a 6-2 second-quarter outburst from Virginia Wesleyan as the Eagles fell by a 23-10 tally on Saturday afternoon in the home finale.
The Eagles got on the board first when Thomas Maher pushed a shot past the keeper with 13:17 left in the first to hand Bridgewater a 1-0 advantage.
Virginia Wesleyan responded three minutes later with the equalizer when Joe Papetti found the back of the net to tie the game up, 1-1.
The Marlins netted back-to-back goals to take a 3-1 lead with 7:34 to play in the first before the Eagles got back on the scoreboard five minutes later.
Off of the ensuing face off, Virginia Wesleyan responded immediately with a Nick Pappas goal off of a pass from Mike Moran as the Marlins extended their lead to 4-2.
Following a Chad Kooser goal which pushed the Virginia Wesleyan advantage to 5-2, the Eagles answered with a Daniels goal off of a Rob Simmons helper to cut the Marlins' lead to 5-3. Virginia Wesleyan scored the final goal of the quarter with 49 ticks to play in the first on Pappas' second goal of the game as the Marlins owned a 6-3 lead after the first stanza.
Tim Gunn and Mike Moran opened the second quarter of scoring for the Marlins to push the lead to 8-3 before Daniels ended the Virginia Wesleyan spurt with his second goal of the game, this one with 8:57 to go in the first half, to bring the Marlins' advantage to 8-4.
Bridgewater trimmed the lead back to three, 8-5, when Simmons got on the board by firing a shot by the keeper off of a pass from Daniels as the Eagles looked to keep the game close at the half.
After the Simmons tally, Virginia Wesleyan netted the final four goals of the half, with the final two coming from the stick of Moran as the Marlins built a 12-5 halftime lead.
Virginia Wesleyan controlled play in the first, outshooting Bridgewater by a 34-12 margin and by winning 15 of the 19 face offs over the first 30 minutes.
Daniels put his third shot of the game in the back of the net to open the scoring in the second half, cutting the Virginia Wesleyan advantage to 12-6 with 13:37 to go in the third.
Pappas answered with an unassisted goal to put Virginia Wesleyan back in front by seven before the Eagles used a pair of goals to cut the Marlins' lead to a manageable five. Maher stroked a shot by the keeper to open the mini-run before freshman Nick Pray took advantage of a man-up opportunity by registering his first goal of the game off of a Daniels pass to cut the deficit to 13-8.
Virginia Wesleyan scored three of the next four goals in the third as the Marlins took a 16-9 advantage into the final stanza. Bridgewater's lone goal over the final eight and change of the third came from the stick of Pray.
The Marlins opened the fourth quarter with three quick goals, forcing a Bridgewater timeout. Out of the timeout, freshman Billy Lentz put a shot by the keeper off of a pass from Nathan Muckle with 8:53 to play to cut the contest to a 19-10 Virginia Wesleyan lead.
Over the final eight-plus minutes of the game, the Marlins scored four unanswered goals to hand Bridgewater a 23-10 defeat.
Daniels posted a career game in the loss. The freshman registered a career high three goals and matched his output with a career high three assists to lead a Bridgewater offense that registered 30 shots on the afternoon. Pray and Maher each chipped in a pair of goals in the loss.
Cheplick tallied a game-high 10 ground balls to lead the way for Bridgewater as the Eagles were edged by a 60-42 margin in ground balls.
Moran led the Virginia Wesleyan attack with seven goals and an assist as the Marlins owned a 51-30 shots advantage over the Eagles. Pappas chipped in a six-goal afternoon to help lead the Virginia Wesleyan offense.
Sam Limpert recorded eight ground balls for the Marlins in the victory.
Netminder Corey Bauer picked up the win, turning away seven Bridgewater scoring attempts along the way.
Bridgewater wraps up the 2013 season on Saturday, April 27 when the Eagles travel to Randolph-Macon. Start time against the Yellow Jackets is set for 7 p.m.