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Men's Lacrosse Beats Virginia Wesleyan in Key ODAC Battle

jake pangle receives a pass

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – The Bridgewater College men's lacrosse team earned a second straight win against a fellow playoff contender, beating Virginia Wesleyan 16-8 on Saturday at Jopson Field.

Eric Husselbaugh recorded nine points for the second straight game, racking up six goals and three assists. Sean MacLeish had four goals and an assist, with Jake Pangle scoring twice to go with an assist.

Bridgewater won 20-of-28 faceoffs, with Tyler Nieto going 10-for-14 with six ground balls and Mason Gauntt finishing 9-for-13 with eight ground balls.

Pangle opened the scoring, and Husselbaugh made it 2-1 off an assist from Hunter Callan with 3:56 left in the first quarter.

The Eagles scored again seven seconds later, one of three times they would strike right off the faceoff. Nieto won the draw, passed to MacLeish, who fed Connor McLean for the goal. MacLeish made it 5-1 heading into the second quarter, with Brady Morrison hitting the Marlins' second pipe of the quarter in the final minute.

Hunter Bagby saved Joey Rayman twice as the Eagles killed off a 6-on-4 early in the second quarter. After two more Bagby saves, Husselbaugh's goal from Kyle Graham's pass pushed the lead to 7-2. Nieto went right down the field on the ensuing faceoff to strike nine seconds later.

McLean then forced a turnover on a VWU clear with a hard hit, leaving Trent Cheyney to scoop up the ground ball and score for a 9-2 lead. The Marlins hit their third pipe of the half, and then turned it over while looking for last shot- with Husselbaugh breaking the other way to score with two seconds left for a 10-2 halftime advantage.

A goaltender battle emerged between Bagby (18 saves, eight goals allowed) and the Marlins' Kyle Leeming, who finished with 21 stops and saved nine of 10 shots on goal in the third quarter. The Marlins ran off five straight in the period to get within three, before Husselbaugh ended the streak with a goal 29 seconds before the end of the third.

MacLeish hit the post at the beginning of the fourth, and the Marlins again made it a three-goal game at 11-8 with 12:10 remaining. For a third time Nieto won the faceoff clean leading to a goal, assisting MacLeish for the response within 13 seconds.

MacLeish had an open cage after a failed Marlins clear but Leeming dove back to deflect the shot with the shaft of his stick. At the other end, Bagby held up Jason Thibeault at the edge of the crease on an odd-man rush and forced the shot high.

The Eagles stretched their lead late including a long pole-to-long pole goal with Grayson Rech assisting Joshua Huffman.

Bridgewater improves to 9-4, 2-4 ODAC, while Virginia Wesleyan is 8-5, 3-3.