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10th-ranked Queens pulls away in second half for 16-8 win over Pioneers

10th-ranked Queens pulls away in second half for 16-8 win over Pioneers

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- A seven-goal run spanning the third and fourth quarters boosted 10th-ranked Queens University of Charlotte to a 16-8 victory over Tusculum University in South Atlantic Conference men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Field.

Quinn Tallant and Kealan Pilon scored three goals apiece for the Royals (8-1, 3-0 SAC), who kept the Pioneers off the scoreboard from the early part of the third quarter until the final minute of the fourth quarter after Tusculum had trailed 9-7. Jesse Oliver scored two goals during the run as Queens outshot Tusculum 20-3 in the third quarter, 28-10 in the second half and 49-31 for the game.

Nate Raymond paced the Pioneers (5-3, 1-2 SAC) with three goals and Liam Macdonald added two goals and an assist. Keegan Bell and Sean Dunn each had a goal and two assists for the Pioneers, while Jordan Daniel had a pair of assists and Lorenz Brown scored a goal for Tusculum.

Queens opened the scoring 1:25 into the first quarter on a goal by David Byrne, but Tusculum responded just under 90 seconds later as Bell set up Raymond for his first goal of the afternoon. Just 10 seconds later, the Royals regained the lead as Drew Flack won the faceoff, collected a pass from Griffin Stechmiller and fired a blind backhand shot into the goal for a 2-1 Queens lead.

The Royals would extend their lead to 4-1 in the first quarter on goals from Tallant and Pilon, but the Pioneers rallied back as Dunn and Raymond scored back-to-back, the latter with the man advantage. Queens would go up 5-3 on a goal by Eric Fitz with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.

Tallant's second goal of the day made it 6-3 Queens just over three minutes into the second quarter, but Bell responded to pull the Pioneers back within 6-4. An exchange of goals by Pilon and Brown kept the Queens lead at 7-5, before Macdonald scored with 5:27 left in the half to bring the Pioneers within a goal at 7-6. However, Byrne would close the scoring with 1:31 left as the Royals took an 8-6 lead to halftime.

The third quarter was dominated by the Royals as they piled up 20 shots and scored five goals. Tallant gave Queens a 9-6 lead with 10:44 left in the quarter, followed up 30 seconds later by Macdonald who brought Tusculum to within 9-7. Queens then scored the final four goals of the quarter to carry a 13-7 lead into the fourth.

The Royals killed off a three-minute penalty to start the fourth quarter, then tacked on three goals in the final six minutes to go up 16-7 before Raymond's third goal closed the scoring with 31 seconds left.

Flack was in control at the faceoff dot for Queens, winning 18-of-21 and collecting 11 ground balls. Queens had a 46-20 advantage in ground balls over Tusculum, with Stechmiller adding six and Tallant five. For the Pioneers, Joel Edgar, Tanner Deck and Quinn McKitrick each had three ground balls to share the team lead.

Tusculum finished the afternoon with 17 turnovers, two of which were caused by goalkeeper Kyle Hornik and Jacob Farquhar for the Royals. Queens had 13 turnovers as a team, with Deck leading the Pioneers with a pair of caused turnovers.

The Pioneers were 1-for-3 on extra-man opportunities and Queens was 0-for-3 as a team. Queens was successful on 22-of-26 clear attempts while Tusculum had 22 clears in 23 tries.

Tusculum goalkeeper Ross Geiger made 16 saves for the Pioneers, with Patrick Thomas adding two at the start of the third quarter after Geiger was sent off for a cross-checking penalty. Hornik played the first 49 minutes for Queens and had nine saves, with Anthony Valenza making two saves in the final 11 minutes.

The Pioneers will look to get back into the win column next Saturday when Newberry visits for a 3 p.m. match at Pioneer Field.

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