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Lincoln Memorial rallies in fourth quarter to beat Pioneers, 14-12

Lincoln Memorial rallies in fourth quarter to beat Pioneers, 14-12

HARROGATE, Tenn. --- Lincoln Memorial scored all six goals of the fourth quarter to erase a four-goal deficit and defeat Tusculum 14-12 in South Atlantic Conference men's lacrosse action Wednesday afternoon.

The Railsplitters (11-3, 5-2 SAC) trailed 12-8 entering the fourth quarter, but scored on six of their 10 shots in the period. Dylan Neisler scored the go-ahead goal with 1:51 left and Robert Tucker added an insurance goal, his third of the quarter, with 21 seconds left after the Pioneers were denied on a scoring chance with just over a minute remaining.

Nate Wade led the Pioneers (4-7, 2-4 SAC) with three goals and an assists, with Tyler Klarner adding three goals and Keegan Bell two. Billy Kopsky paced the Railsplitters with four goals, with Adam Golia adding two goals and five assists and Tucker chipping in with three goals and an assist.

Tusculum took the lead just 49 seconds into the first quarter on a goal by Dallas Wade, but the Railsplitters responded with goals from Kyle Arcuri and Golia to go on top 2-1 with 7:57 left in the quarter. Tusculum knotted the game at 2-2 as Quentin Jennings found the net with 3:57 left in the quarter, only to see LMU go back on top 3-2 just 47 seconds later on Golia's second goal of the game. The Pioneers tied the score at 3-3 on a Nate Wade goal with 1:05 left in the quarter, and regained the lead at 4-3 as Chris Ryan scored with seven seconds left.

Goals from Kopsky and Chris Tucker put the Railsplitters back ahead 5-4 just three minutes into the second quarter, but the Pioneers rattled off five consecutive goals over a span of nearly six minutes. Nate Wade scored twice in 50 seconds to put the Pioneers back ahead 6-5, followed by two goals in a row from Bell and one from Klarner, the latter giving Tusculum a 9-5 lead with 4:47 left in the half. Kopsky scored with 4:04 left in the quarter for the Railsplitters, and the Pioneers carried the 9-6 advantage all the way to halftime.

Lincoln Memorial opened the third quarter with a goal from Anthony Teresky in the first minute, but Klarner and Andrew Kransberger scored to increase the Tusculum lead to 11-7 with 9:09 left in the third quarter. Kopsky and Klarner exchanged goals midway through the quarter, with the teams playing scoreless for the final six minutes as Tusculum carried a 12-9 lead into the final period.

Robert Tucker started the comeback for the Railsplitters by scoring just 57 seconds into the fourth quarter, and goals from Arcuri, Tucker again and Kopsky -- all assisted by Golia -- tied the game at 12-12 with 7:32 left. After an exchange of possessions, the Railsplitters took the lead as Neisler scored with 1:51 remaining, and Tucker scored his third of the final quarter with 21 seconds left to cap the Railsplitter comeback.

Lincoln Memorial finished with a slim 36-35 edge in shots over Tusculum, but had a 41-33 advantage in ground balls including 14-3 in the fourth quarter. The Railsplitters won 19 of the 30 faceoffs in the contest, while the Pioneers had 15 turnovers to 11 for Lincoln Memorial. Neither team was successful with the man advantage, with Tusculum going 0-for-3 and Lincoln Memorial 0-for-2.

Connor Coleman led the Pioneers with six ground balls in the match, while Kransberger added four. Joel Edgar led the Pioneer defense with a pair of caused turnovers, with three ground balls from Eric Varlas. For the Railsplitters, Hunter Clark had a game-high seven ground balls, with five each from Robert Tucker and Ryan Benck. Tucker also finished with a pair of caused turnovers as LMU forced Tusculum into 10 of its 15 miscues.

Ryan Pickering made his first career start in goal for the Pioneers and had 11 saves, while Michael Kessler made nine stops between the pipes for the Railsplitters.

Tusculum will host Wingate on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Pioneer Field as the team celebrates Senior Day against the Bulldogs.

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