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Three late goals rally Pioneers to 14-12 win at Coker

Lorenz Brown scored the tying goal with 1:55 left in the fourth quarter (photo by Nathan Fraser)
Lorenz Brown scored the tying goal with 1:55 left in the fourth quarter (photo by Nathan Fraser)

HARTSVILLE, S.C. --- Sean Dunn scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:09 left as Tusculum University rallied with three goals in the final two minutes to defeat Coker College 14-12 in South Atlantic Conference men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon.

Lorenz Brown scored three goals, including the game-tying tally with 1:55 remaining. After Dunn's go-ahead goal, Keegan Bell scored his fifth of the afternoon with 49 seconds left for insurance. Bell had five goals and an assist for the Pioneers (6-4, 2-3 SAC) while Kale Lawrence had two goals and Liam Macdonald added a goal and four assists.

Ethan Irizarry led the Cobras (5-7, 2-4 SAC) with five goals and Matt Murphy scored twice, including with 4:13 left in the fourth quarter to give Coker its final lead at 12-11. Coker outshot Tusculum 49-32, but Pioneer keeper Ross Geiger finished with 15 saves between the pipes including 10 in the first half alone as the Cobras poured 34 shots at the Pioneer goal.

Tusculum won 18 of 30 faceoffs in the match, including a 10-for-14 performance from Addie Wilkins which included wins before the go-ahead goal by Dunn and Bell's late tally. Tusculum was 3-for-5 with the man advantage, including goals by Bell in the second and third quarters and one by Jordan Daniel in the fourth.

The Pioneers scored first as Brown tallied off a feed from Macdonald with 2:54 gone in the first quarter, but Murphy answered with 9:24 left to tie the score at 1-1. Bell then scored twice in seven seconds, the second off a faceoff win by Wilkins, for a 3-1 Tusculum lead with 8:32 to go in the quarter. Coker came back with two goals in 17 seconds from Irizarry and Justin Hopkins to tie the game at 3-3, but Lawrence closed out the quarter with 3:50 left for a 4-3 Pioneer lead.

Lawrence scored 38 seconds into the second quarter to push the Pioneers on top 5-3, but Joe Venazio and Irizarry scored to tie the game at 5-5 with 6:53 left in the half. The teams then combined for five goals in the final five minutes of the half, with Macdonald, Bell and Nate Raymond scoring for Tusculum and Irizarry and Andrew Dappen for Coker as the Pioneers led 8-7 at the break.

In the third quarter, Coker scored twice in just over three minutes to take their first lead of the day at 9-8. The teams then went nine minutes without a goal before Irizarry scored with the man-up to give the Cobras a 10-8 lead with 2:58 left in the third quarter. Bell and Brown scored 44 seconds apart to tie the game in the final two minutes, but Irizarry struck for the fifth time with 10 seconds left to carry Coker to the fourth quarter with an 11-10 lead.

Daniel's man-up goal came with 13:28 left and tied the score at 11-11, with another nine-minute drought preceding Murphy's go-ahead goal for Coker with 4:13 left. A save by Geiger on a shot by James Brugger with 2:54 left allowed the Pioneers to regain possession, and Brown notched the equalizer off a dish from Macdonald with 1:55 to go.

After Wilkins' faceoff win gave Tusculum the ball back, Dunn beat his man on an isolation play and scored with 1:09 remaining for a 13-12 Tusculum lead. Another faceoff win by Wilkins led to Bell's fifth of the day with 49 seconds to go, and the Pioneers forced a turnover with under 30 seconds left which allowed them to run out the clock.

Wilkins had five ground balls to go along with his 10 faceoff wins, and Daniel added four ground balls and Connor Coleman chipped in with three. Joel Edgar had three ground balls and two caused turnovers, including one in the final minute as Coker tried to rally.

For Coker, Jason McNeany had 11 faceoff wins and collected a team-high nine ground balls, with three apiece to Venazio, Emmanuel Adjaye and Hopkins. Brugger and Adjaye shared the team lead with two caused turnovers. Chris Hagy played all 60 minutes in goal and finished with 10 saves for the Cobras.

The Pioneers will be home to face Lincoln Memorial University in a SAC match on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Pioneer Field.

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