Pioneers drop SAC quarterfinal 16-8 at #16 Queens

Pioneers drop SAC quarterfinal 16-8 at #16 Queens

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Queens University of Charlotte ran off 11 consecutive goals in a span of 18 minutes of the first half as the Royals defeated Tusculum University 16-8 in the quarterfinals of the South Atlantic Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament Tuesday afternoon at Dickson Field.

The 16th-ranked Royals (12-3), seeded third in the tournament, advance to the SAC semifinals where they will play second-seeded Catawba on Friday at 7 p.m. at Wingate University. The Pioneers, who were seeded sixth in the field, finish their season with a record of 7-7.

Laszlo Henning, Quinn Tallant, Drew Flack and Kevin Barry all scored two goals apiece for the Royals, with eight players scoring once each as the Royals finished with a 49-25 advantage in shots over the Pioneers.

Liam Macdonald had two goals and an assist to lead the Pioneers, who also received a goal and an assist from Nate Raymond and Sean Dunn. Josh Pickford, Keegan Bell, Luke Doehring and Charles Mills also had goals for the Pioneers.

Tallant gave Queens a 1-0 lead just 1:28 into the first half, but Pickford answered back exactly four minutes into the opening quarter to knot the score at 1-1. From there, the Royals surged behind a balanced attack as seven different players scored the next seven goals for Queens, and nine different players had goals during the run of 11 in a row. Tusculum finally broke the drought as Macdonald scored with 4:50 left in the first half, but Queens carried a 13-2 advantage into intermission.

The Pioneers put a dent into the margin in the third quarter, pulling within 14-5 on consecutive goals from Macdonald, Dunn and Raymond. Bell scored the final goal of his Tusculum career with 8:01 remaining, and fellow senior Mills capped the scoring with under a minute to play.

For the Pioneers, Addie Wilkins, Joel Edgar and Nash Johnson had three ground balls apiece while Macdonald, Quinn McKitrick and Connor Coleman all had caused turnovers. For the Royals, Flack was 16-for-20 on faceoffs and collected 13 ground balls, while Griffin Stechmiller had five ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Both teams were 1-for-3 with the man advantage, and Tusculum turned the ball over 15 times to 11 by Queens. The Royals were 13-for-14 on clears and the Pioneers were successful on 12-of-17 chances, while Queens won 18 of the 27 faceoffs including 14-for-16 in the first half.

Tusculum goalkeeper Ross Geiger played the first half and made 10 saves, with Patrick Thomas coming on and adding five saves in the second half. For Queens, Anthony Valenza had one save in the first half and Kyle Hornik made six stops after halftime.