BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Despite controlling the faceoff for the majority of the afternoon, the Bridgewater Eagles men's lacrosse team couldn't over 29 turnovers and a seven unanswered goals from Hampden-Sydney to open the game as the Eagles fell by a 13-2 tally in Saturday afternoon's conference opener.
The loss snapped Bridgewater's three-game winning streak.
For the second season in a row, Bridgewater opened the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) slate against the four-time conference champion Tigers and Hampden-Sydney took advantage of a number of Bridgewater miscues in the first quarter to run out to a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes of play. Jake Koferl, Fleet Jernigan and Mike Funk each scored unassisted goals for the Tigers in the first frame.
Hampden-Sydney (2-4, 1-0 ODAC) took advantage of a Bridgewater penalty to tally a man-up goal early in the second before goals from Sam Craighill, Reid White and Arley Morelock handed the Tigers a 7-0 lead with under three minutes remaining in the opening half.
Bridgewater (4-2, 0-1 ODAC) got on the scoreboard in the waning moments of the first half. Sophomore Derrick Daniels was busy at both ends, forcing a Hampden-Sydney turnover before converting at the other end with an unassisted goal to trim the deficit to 7-1 at the intermission.
The Eagles won six of the 10 faceoffs in the first half and trailed by just six at the break despite being outshot by a 26-7 margin and committing 17 turnovers.
Out of the intermission, Hampden-Sydney ran away with the contest with five unanswered goals in the third quarter to take a 12-1 lead into the final frame. Funk, Koferl and Craighill added additional goals while Thomas Armstrong and Duncan Morris got in on the scoring with Morris' goal coming off of a man-up opportunity.
Bridgewater got back on the board at the start of the fourth quarter with a Sam Cheplick goal. Cheplick registered his second goal of the season after controlling the opening faceoff of the fourth quarter. The Eagles fired back-to-back shots at the Hampden-Sydney cage before Cheplick took a pass from sophomore Thomas Maher and stroked a shot into the back of the net to cut the Hampden-Sydney lead to 12-2 with 13:37 remaining.
The Tigers answered less than a minute later with a Kevin Wilhelm tally to finalize the scoring and head home with a 13-2 victory in the conference opener for both teams.
Cheplick and Daniels led the Bridgewater offense with a goal each as the Eagles were limited to just 19 shots on the day. Cheplick also scooped up six ground balls on the day to lead all players.
On the faceoff, freshman Nick Strider was solid, earning 7-of-11 faceoffs contested to lead Bridgewater to a 12-of-19 effort in the center circle.
Sophomore Andrew Buss (4-2) picked up the loss after turning away a season-high 14 shots on the afternoon.
Hampden-Sydney was led by four players with two goals each while Craighill and Funk tallied three assists apiece to pace the Tigers' offense.
Tigers netminder David Noftsinger picked up the win, turning away eight Bridgewater shots along the way.
Bridgewater returns to action on Wednesday with a non-conference matchup at Ferrum. Opening faceoff with the Panthers is set for 4 p.m.