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Extra-Man Opportunities Carry VWC Past Bridgewater

Extra-Man Opportunities Carry VWC Past Bridgewater



BRIDGEWATER, Va. –
The Bridgewater College men's lacrosse team dropped its ODAC opener on Saturday, 10-7 to visiting Virginia Wesleyan.

Extra-man opportunities were the biggest difference in an otherwise tight game, as Bridgewater went 0-for-4 on their man-up chances while seeing Wesleyan convert on all three.

Virginia Wesleyan scored two man-up goals as part of a decisive three-goal run in the third quarter. Tim Gunn assisted both goals, finding Mike Moran for an 8-5 lead and Levi Williams-Whitney to make it 10-5 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Eagles lost a streak of four straight games holding their opponents to single-digits, but did not allow a fourth-quarter goal in keeping a team to 10 or less for the seventh straight time.

BC goalie Michael Fairley did his part with 13 saves, including five in the first quarter. Sean Nevin caused three turnovers for the Bridgewater defense; Lucas Clark forced two and picked up three ground balls.

Derrick Daniels led the attack four goals, while Thomas Maher and Chris Voorhees each contributed a goal and an assist.

Trailing 10-5, Bridgewater rallied with two goals in 60 seconds to make it interesting. Maher assisted Daniels for the first, and Rob Simmons followed to quickly cut the deficit to three.

Bridgewater had several more chances, including another man-up opportunity that went wanting. The Eagles nearly found Blake Mann all alone at the doorstep with 4:30 to play, but Virginia Wesleyan goalie Rory Finnegan reached out to cut off the pass. Finnegan made just four saves but caused three turnovers and picked up three ground balls to aid his defense.

Besides man-up chances, the other major difference in the three-goal loss was the Wesleyan goalposts. Bridgewater hit three pipes, including two from Daniels. Mann also rattled the post in the second quarter.

The teams were tied at 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 in the early going. Bridgewater was unlucky to fall behind 4-3 in the second quarter; Fairley made a save but Andre Brummitt slapped the rebound in with his stick to put the visitors ahead for good.

Levi Williams-Whitney made a great play on the next goal, reaching out with one hand to corral an errant pass and immediately flipping it to an open Eddie Desiderio at the back post to make it 5-3.

Fairley denied a series of trick shots by VWC's Josh Currier in the second half. He saved a reverse, overhead shot by Currier early in the third quarter, then caught a behind-the-back flip later in the period. In the fourth quarter, Fairley stopped a backhand attempt by the Marlin junior.

Currier, a two-time All-American, was held without a goal for just the fourth time in his three year career.

Joe Papetti (four goals) found himself all alone in front of the crease in the fourth quarter but Fairley made a point-blank stop to keep it at 10-7. Ultimately, the Eagles would turn it over four times after striking twice to cut the deficit to three.

The final Virginia Wesleyan penalty kill came with reserve goalie Sean Galloway in the cage, as Finnegan found himself out of position following a failed clear and committed a push to prevent the Eagles from capitalizing.

Bridgewater concludes a seven-game homestand and will be on the road next Saturday at #15 Washington & Lee.

The Eagles fall to 4-4, 0-1 ODAC, while Virginia Wesleyan is 3-2, 1-0.