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Men's Lacrosse Beats Methodist 13-7

Men's Lacrosse Beats Methodist 13-7

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College men's lacrosse team outlasted visiting Methodist on Saturday, winning 13-7 on Jopson Field.

Sophomore Jeff Strickland had a team-leading five points on two goals and three assists. Rob Simmons (2G, 2A) and Blake Mann (3G, 1A) added four points each.

Freshman Tyler Nieto had nine ground balls after winning 12-of-19 faceoffs, with Strickland also causing two turnovers. Goalie Michael Fairley was solid for a third straight start with 11 saves to just seven goals allowed.

There was a Methodist penalty for pushing immediately after Nieto won the opening faceoff. The Eagles did not technically convert on the man-up, but Thomas Maher scored seconds after the release with an assist from Strickland.

Strickland knocked a clear away from the Methodist goalie and followed his caused turnover and ground ball with a goal to put the Eagles ahead 2-0 and send the MU starter to the bench until the second quarter.

Methodist's Jake Smerka scored from outside twice in the opening half, including a long rip with 3:22 left in the first quarter to cut Bridgewater's lead to 3-2. He later ran from the top of the area and scored late in the second to send the teams to halftime with a 7-4 BC scoreline.

Sophomore Chris Voorhees, BC's leading goal scorer in 2014, completed his return from injury with his first tally of the season in the second quarter. Daniel Brown assisted Maher on a man-up opportunity for a 5-2 lead.

After Mack Cox answered for Methodist, Mann and Strickland added two more for the hosts to make it 7-3 Eagles.

Both teams hit the crossbar in the second quarter. Simmons struck the bar earlier in the period, and MU's Andrew Ruskey rang a shot off the bar with four seconds left that rebounded all the way back out to the midfield area.

After some misdirection from the substitution box, Clark beat his man into the play and scored with the long pole from Strickland's assist to give the Eagles a 9-4 lead.

Another failed Methodist clear was picked up by Simmons and the junior finished it off for a 10-5 BC advantage.

Brown nearly scored from outside late in the third quarter, but MU goalie Andrew Chinigo got down low to make a good save.

Methodist's Layden brothers combined for a goal early in the fourth, with Justin Layden assisting Matt Layden to cut BC's lead to 10-6. Mann soon answered on the man-advantage, off a pass from Strickland.

Smerka led the visitors with three goals and an assist, while Matt Layden also had a hat trick.

Defenseman Daniel Richards picked up three ground balls and caused three turnovers for Methodist. Chinigo finished with 13 saves and allowed just eight goals over two stints totaling just under 40 minutes.

The Eagles continue their homestand with upcoming non-conference games on Jopson Field against Ferrum (Mar. 4), Hood (Mar. 7) and Marywood (Mar. 11). BC head coach Mic Grant was formerly in charge at Marywood.

On Wednesday, Bridgewater (3-1) will be looking for the first four-game win streak in the program's three-year history.