ASHLAND, Va. – In the season finale at Randolph-Macon, the Bridgewater Eagles men's lacrosse team kept things close early but couldn't overcome a big second-quarter run from Yellow Jackets in a 19-11 loss on Saturday afternoon at Day Field.
After an early feeling out period left the game scoreless through the first nearly five minutes, the Yellow Jackets got on the board first on a Justin Butler goal to take a 1-0 lead with 10:04 left in the opening frame.
Randolph-Macon answered with back-to-back goals within 23 seconds of each other to take a 3-1 lead with 6:29 to go in the first, before Joshua Frey cut the Randolph-Macon lead back to a goal when he tallied a goal off of an Ashcraft helper.
The Yellow Jackets took a 4-2 lead before back-to-back tallies from the Eagles knotted the game up at a 4-4 tally in the waning seconds of a closely played first quarter. Frey again found the back of the net off of an Ashcraft assist to trim the lead to 4-3 before Joey Van Goidtsnoven stuck a shot past the keeper on a pass from Logan Whitaker to tie the game up at four goals each with 54 ticks left in the first.
With 15 seconds to play in the first, Randolph-Macon regained the lead on another Butler goal to take a 5-4 lead after the opening frame.
Following a closely played first quarter, Randolph-Macon took control of play in the second by outscoring the Eagles by a 7-3 tally during the stanza to build out a 12-7 halftime lead. The Yellow Jackets scored two goals to open the quarter, including one tally on a man-up opportunity, before Landon Elmore got in on the scoring to trim the R-MC lead to 7-5. Randolph-Macon then used five unanswered goals to race out to a 12-5 lead with just over three minutes to play in the first half.
Bridgewater made the most of its opportunities in the first half, netting seven goals on 11 shots.
Randolph-Macon opened the second half with four straight goals to build a 16-7 lead early in the third quarter. Pray broke up the run with an unassisted goal before the Yellow Jackets score a pair of goals to end the third and take an 18-8 lead into the final 15 minutes of play.
Freshman Nathan Muckle ripped a shot past the keeper with 14:12 to go, opening a three-goal run for the Eagles to kick off the fourth. Frey scored his second goal of the game with 13:05 to go off of a Mike Shaup assist before Maher rounded out the scoring for the Eagles with an unassisted goal with under seven minutes remaining, cutting the deficit to 18-11.
Randolph-Macon tallied the game's final goal with two minutes left when Josh Merwin rounded out the scoring to hand the Yellow Jackets a 19-11 win.
Frey's three-goal game led the way for the Eagles offense as Bridgewater tallied 25 shots in the loss. Maher added a two-goal effort as well, while Ashcraft chipped in a goal to go along with a team-high three assists. The three goals for Frey secured the team lead for season goals as the freshman wrapped up his opening season with the program with 22 goals.
Goalkeeper Andrew Buss picked up the loss after allowing 18 goals on 29 shots over the opening 45 minutes of play. Shane Trost replaced Buss for the final 15 minutes and allowed just one goal on six shots.
Butler and Jason Andrews each registered four-goal games for the Yellow Jackets in the win. Thomas Smith picked up the victory in the cage, allowing 11 Bridgewater goals while turning away seven shots along the way.
Bridgewater wraps up its inaugural campaign with a 5-10 overall record and a 1-8 mark in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play.