BRIDGEWATER, Va. – In front of more than 500 fans at Jopson Field, the Bridgewater Eagles men's lacrosse team got on the board late in the first quarter and never trailed as the Eagles upended the visiting Transylvania Pioneers by an 8-4 tally in the inaugural men's lacrosse game for the program.
In an early defensive struggle both teams remained off of the scoreboard for the first 13-plus minutes of the opening frame before Bridgewater broke the first-quarter deadlock. With 1:44 to play in the first stanza, Joshua Frey netted the go-ahead goal off of an assist from freshman Rob Simmons to put the Eagles up 1-0 which is how it would remain at the end of the opening quarter.
After the quarter break, the Pioneers spent little time in tallying the equalizer. Clay Douthat stuck an unassisted shot past Bridgewater net minder Andrew Buss with 13:52 to go in the first half to knot the game up at one goal each.
Bridgewater responded with a goal barrage to take a commanding lead into the locker room. Landon Elmore scored back-to-back goals for the Eagles to put Bridgewater back in front, 3-1 before an unassisted tally from Nathan Muckle with 7:57 to go in the second quarter extended the lead to 4-1. Freshman Nick Pray finalized the scoring in the first half with a pair of goals in the final five minutes, the second on a man-up opportunity, as the Eagles owned a 6-1 halftime lead.
In the first half, the Eagles controlled the offensive end of the field with 21 shots while the Bridgewater defense limited the Pioneers to just nine shots. Bridgewater's defense also forced 19 first-half turnovers.
Following a scoreless third quarter which was dominated on the offensive end by Transylvania, the Pioneers got back on the scoreboard early in the fourth. Skyler Moran took a pass from Ben Erwin and found the back of the net to cut the Bridgewater lead to 6-2.
Simmons answered for the Eagles with his first career goal to put Bridgewater back up five, 7-2, with 13:19 to play.
Douthat posted back-to-back unanswered goals to trim the gap to a 7-4 before freshman Derrick Daniels rounded out the scoring with a goal with 66 ticks to play to hand Bridgewater an 8-4 victory.
Elmore and Pray led the way on the offensive end with two goals each as Bridgewater outshot Transylvania by a 37-27 tally.
Pray and Lucas Clark scooped up five ground balls each to lead the way for Bridgewater as the Eagles led by a 41-38 margin in ground balls.
Buss earned his first career victory as the Bridgewater goalkeeper. The freshman turned away nine Transylvania shots in the win.
Douthat netted three goals to lead the way for the Pioneers on the offensive end while Sam Ives tallied a dozen ground balls on the afternoon.
Joshua Slone tallied six saves in the loss and faced 14 shots.
Transylvania controlled the faceoffs, winning 13 of the 16 contested on the afternoon.
Bridgewater is back in action on Wednesday at Jopson Field when it hosts Southern Virginia. Start time is set for 3:30 p.m.