DULUTH, Ga. - The Emmanuel College men's lacrosse team was narrowly defeated 14-13 in their season opener against Lander University on Wednesday afternoon. The originally scheduled home event took place at Rabbit Hill Park in Duluth, Georgia due to flooding. This loss brings the Lions record to 0-1 overall.
EC got off to a quick start after taking 5 shots and keeping Lander on the defense. Matthew Mitchell would find the goal two minutes into the game with an assist from Alex Stull to pull the Lions ahead 1-0. The Bearcats responded with four goals of their own before EC could answer. With under 2 minutes remaining on the clock, the Lions would answer with back to back goals. Allan Velasquez fired a shot in at 1:34 with an assist from Alex Still. With 24 seconds remaining in the period, Stull connected with a goal of his own off of an assist from Justin Parker to reduce the Lander lead to 4-3.
The Lions wasted no time as they quickly tied the game back up when Matthew Mitchell drove in his second goal of the day. The Bearcats began to build their lead back up with two more goals over the next four minutes, 6-4. Alex Stull would capitalize on a man-up situation with an assist from Lance Olson before Shamaz Durrant tied the score back up at 6-6. Velasquez followed with his second goal to propel EC to a 7-6 lead with four and a half minutes remaining in the half. An EC penalty cost the Lions as Lander utilized their man-up opportunity to tie the game back up with a goal at 1:10.
Upon returning from half time, the teams continued exchanging points and found themselves tied at 9-9 after a goal from Bakari Neely and Alex Stull. Another goal from Stull and Mitchell boosted EC to a two point lead, 11-9 as the quarter wound down. The Bearcats would reduce EC's lead to 11-10 with one more goal in the third period.
EC fired away right out of the gate as Stull quickly converted another goal within 17 seconds, bringing EC's lead to 12-10. Stull's final goal of the game followed just two minutes later off of an assist from Sheldon Hardy. Lander had an explosive response when they put up 3 points in the next three minutes, tying the score up at 13-13. Despite ten minutes remaining on the clock, the rest of the game remained scoreless for EC who attempted 8 more shots. A penalty at the three minute mark proved to be detrimental to EC, as Lander capitalized on another man-up opportunity to score the game winning goal, 14-13.
The Lions finished the afternoon with 13 goals, 9 assists, 51 shots, and 46 ground balls. EC lost the turnover battle with 30 compared to only 21 from the Bearcats.
Alex Stull led the Lions offensively with 6 goals and 3 assists.
Next up, EC takes on Shorter University at Rabbit Hill Park in Dacula, Georgia on Saturday, February 15th at 5:30pm.
For more news on Emmanuel College Athletics, visit goeclions.com.