The Mercer men’s lacrosse team dropped a close one to Towson in overtime last week in Unitas Stadium. Freshman attack Chris Baxa led the team with four goals in the 9-8 loss. Mercer’s loss dropped the team to 1-2 on the season.
Towson set the tempo with a 10-yard shot from inside the box with just over 11 minutes left in the first quarter.
About six minutes later, sophomore midfielder Timmy Geran drove the ball down the right alley, took it behind the goal, and wrapped around to make an impressive diving shot, putting the ball in the back of the net, tying the game at 1-1.
To start the second quarter, Baxa put in his first goal of the day by a fast break off of sophomore midfielder Justin Evan’s face-off win. Towson responded by scoring three more, making the score 4-2.
With eight minutes left in the third quarter, junior midfielder Cole Branch fed Baxa a quick pass inside. Baxa turned for the goal, ripping one into the back of the net. It only took a couple of minutes for a Tiger midfielder to score again. Baxa explained that with the help of his teammates, he was able to have a remarkable scoring day.
“Our midfielders played very well, so we were able to get off good shots,” he said. “Harry Baker, Cole Brach, and Timmy Geran were able to draw double teams which left me open to shoot. Also, Zack Ward was the defense’s main concern, which worked to my advantage of getting open shots. Our offense played fast and we finished our chances.”
At the 5:50 mark of the third quarter, the Bears were trailing 5-3.
Baxa dialed up his third goal of the afternoon with 4:18 left in the third, sparking a streak of five unanswered goals for Mercer to give them the lead. A goal from junior midfielder Harry Baker, two from junior attack Zack Ward, and one more from Baxa gave the Bears the advantage, 8-5.
Within a mere 40 seconds, Towson responded with three goals to knot the score 8-8, sending the contest into overtime. Baxa commented on the Tiger comeback.
“We had the ball on our offensive zone and turned it over twice. We needed to hold the call and kill the clock. Then the third goal was a fluke off of a lucky deflection right into their best shooters stick. But, you can’t just blame the defense for those goals.”
Towson’s attackman netted the game winner with 1:04 left in the first overtime period.
Mercer freshman Mike Nugent made 11 saves while playing the entire game in the goal. He also tallied a team-high five ground balls to help the Bears finish with a 34-33 advantage in the category.
Mercer returns to action at St. Josephs on March 6. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.