The Mercer men’s lacrosse team dropped two more games in this past week of play. On March 16, the Bears traveled up to Louisville, Ky. where they lost to Bellarmine in a 12-5 match-up. Four days later, they dropped a 12-11 hard-fought game in Riverdale, N.Y. against Manhattan.
In the first game, junior attackman Zack Ward and freshman goalie Mike Nugent both had impressive performances in the loss. Ward scored two goals and Nugent made 11 saves.
The loss dropped the Bears to 3-4 on the year.
To start off the game, Bellarmine netted their first one in quick with 13:19 left in the quarter. Mercer responded, however, when junior midfielder Cole Branch and sophomore midfielder Timmy Geran teamed up to even matters midway through the first period.
With 13 seconds remaining in the quarter, Bellarmine found the net one more time to go into the second period with the lead 2-1.
The Knights went on a 5-0 scoring run in the second quarter that Mercer could not keep up with. The Bears went into the locker room at halftime trailing 6-1.
The Bears came out of the locker room hot and scored the first two goals of the half to bring Mercer within three. Assisted by classmate Harry Baker, Ward found the back of the net just before freshman attackman Chris Baxa did some work on his own, scoring with 7:59 left in the third quarter.
Bellarmine responded and registered six of the next seven goals to preserve the separation.
After the loss, the Bears were hungry for a win. Despite their best efforts, Mercer suffered its third-straight loss and fell to 3-5 on the year.
The first three periods of action were full of competitive back and forth play. Mercer was finally able to score three-straight times to erase an 8-7 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter. These three tallies put the Bears on top 10-8 with 10:45 to play. Geran, Baker and Ward registered the goals.
At the 6:12 mark in the fourth period, Manhattan went on a 4-0 run that put them in front 12-10 with 1:28 to play.
With a mere 36 seconds remaining in the contest, Ward found the net for the third time of the afternoon to give the Orange and Black a chance to send the game into overtime. Sophomore Justin Evans won the ensuing faceoff and Ward found an opening with four seconds left, but his shot was off the mark and Manhattan prevailed.
Baxa netted a pair of goals in his sixth-multi goal performance of the year. Junior Eoin Collins also scored two goals in the losing effort. Nugent made an impressive 14 saves on the defensive side for the Bears.
The Bears now return home for a March 31 matchup with High Point. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Moye Football and Lacrosse Complex.