Lacrosse rounds out program's 2nd season with tough defeats


The second season for the Mercer Bears’ Division I men’s lacrosse team has come to an end, and the athletics department can be happy with the progress that was made this year. They won their first game against a Division I foe in school history in March against Wagner, and while that was the only win on the year, the Bears competed against quality opponents all year.
Their final record was 1-13 overall, closing the season on five straight losses. Despite Coach Jason Childs saying that “VMI and St. Joe’s look to be very competitive games for us,” being very competitive does not equal a win. The Bears lost despite outshooting these squads.

Mercer 2, Delaware 14
An abysmal first quarter left the Bears scratching their head much in the same way that the previous game against Air Force did, as the Delaware Blue Hens seemed to be untouchable early on, scoring at will.
They led 7-0 after one and 9-1 at the break. In all, 12 different players scored for the Blue Hens, with John Austin grabbing the hat trick. Mercer’s Zack Ward scored his 17th of the season, and Brett Eisenmann added his seventh later on as the Bears were outshot 51-31. However, 23 of them came in the first quarter, and the Bears scored their lowest total of the season.

Mercer 4, VMI 14
The Bears dropped their final road game of the season at VMI on April 14, giving them their third win of the campaign. Mercer outperformed VMI in front of goal, creating 39 shots to just 37 for VMI. Offense was not enough when the shots don’t fall into the goal. The Keydets of VMI relied on a 4-0 first stanza to set the stage for the day.
John Avent, Sam Grayson, Ian Gehlbach and Wilton McKown were the four Bears who beat the keeper on a day where Mercer saved just half as many shots as VMI.

St. Joseph’s 14, Mercer 9
On the final day of the season, the Bears returned home for one more chance to snatch a win from their tough opponents. Despite outshooting their visitors 49-39, Mercer was unable to get as many quality shots on target. St. Joe’s had a 16-11 advantage in saves in the contest. The Bears were also unable to convert their four chances with a man up in order to narrow the lead. They did score three of the game’s final four goals, but after falling back 3-2 in the first, the Bears never led again.
After losing their final three contests by an aggregate of 42-15, the Bears will demand new levels of success on both sides of the ball in 2013.