GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Newberry College defeated Tusculum University 16-13 in South Atlantic Conference men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Field.
Kyle Dunklee had four goals and an assist and Brady Kearnan and Stone Boone had three goals apiece for the Wolves (8-3, 2-2 SAC), who outshot the Pioneers 55-41 and won 23 of 32 faceoffs in the match.
Keegan Bell paced the Pioneers with five goals and Liam Macdonald dished out five assists to become the program career leader in assists, but Tusculum (5-4, 1-3 SAC) had just 15 successful clears in 25 attempts and saw Newberry score seven goals in the second quarter to take a 10-8 lead at halftime.
Macdonald's five assists included the 100th point of his career on Bell's first goal of the afternoon, making him the sixth player in program history to reach 100 points. The third of his five assists was the 46th of his career, breaking a tie with Andrew Kransberger and Nate Wade for the program record.
Nate Raymond had three goals for the Pioneers, Kale Lawrence netted two goals and an assist and Lorenz Brown scored a pair of goals for Tusculum, who also received a goal and an assist from Sean Dunn, two assists from Will Cookman and an assist from Jordan Daniel.
Brown opened the scoring for the Pioneers with 11:12 left in the first quarter, but Zachary Sunderland answered 46 seconds later to tie the score at 1-1. An exchange of goals by Lawrence and Dunklee left the game tied 2-2 with 8:34 to go in the quarter, but Bell scored twice on passes from Macdonald in a 70-second span for a 4-2 Tusculum lead. Lawrence extended the lead to 5-2 with 5:42 remaining in the quarter, but Boone was able to cut the Newberry deficit to 5-3 with 26 seconds to play.
Bell and Macdonald hooked up again with 9:40 left in the second quarter for a 6-3 Tusculum lead, only to see Dunklee answer 10 seconds later and spark a three-goal run for the Wolves. Boone and Neil Swingruber scored to tie the match at 6-6, but Bell scored with the man up off yet another Macdonald assist for a 7-6 Tusculum lead with 5:00 to go in the second quarter.
Kearnan then scored back-to-back goals and Gregory Gerber Jr. added a third as the Wolves went up 9-7 with 1:56 to go in the half. Dunn brought the Pioneers within 9-8 with 45 seconds to go, but Newberry's Dylan Mansur beat the horn on a rebound to send the Wolves to intermission with a 10-8 lead.
A Dunklee goal with 8:09 left in the third quarter gave Newberry an 11-8 lead, but Raymond and Brown responded as Tusculum pulled within 11-10 with 4:29 remaining. Raymond would twice bring the Pioneers back within a goal following tallies from the Wolves' Sunderland and Dunklee, the latter making it 13-12 Newberry with 13:05 remaining.
However, the Wolves got goals from Boone, Kearnan and Jeremy Ross in a 4 1/2 minute span to go ahead 16-12 with 8:07 to play, and Bell's fifth goal of the day with 2:33 left closed out the scoring.
Newberry's Justin Messersmith won 22 of the 28 faceoffs he took in the match, and he finished with a game-high eight ground balls. Dunklee had three ground balls and two caused turnovers for the Wolves, as Newberry had a 33-25 advantage in ground balls in the match over Tusculum.
For the Pioneers, Joel Edgar had five ground balls, Connor Coleman had four and Brown and Raymond had three apiece. Coleman also had both caused turnovers for the Pioneers. Andy Michalski had the most success at the dot for Tusculum, winning six of the 13 faceoffs he took.
Newberry was scoreless in three extra-man opportunities on the afternoon, while Tusculum converted on one of its two chances. Tusculum finished with 18 turnovers as a team, while Newberry turned the ball over 17 times but went 13-for-15 on clears.
Tusculum goalkeeper Ross Geiger made 16 saves in the match, while Newberry's Erick Szurley finished with 17 saves. Newberry had a 32-30 advantage in shots on goal for the day.
The Pioneers will travel to Coker for a SAC match with the Cobras next Saturday at 3 p.m.