Men's lacrosse gets season off to excellent start with 8-5 win over Averett

Men's lacrosse gets season off to excellent start with 8-5 win over Averett

The Oglethorpe men's lacrosse team started their season on the right foot Saturday afternoon at the Oglethorpe Track and Field, coming back from 3-1 down in the first half to knock off the visiting Averett Cougars 8-5. It marked the first time the Stormy Petrels won their season opener since their inaugural season of 2011.

With the Petrels up 4-3 at the half, the two teams traded goals in the third quarter, sending the game to its final 15 minutes with the score 5-4 in favor of the home side. Oglethorpe went on the run that clinched the game from there, though, tallying three goals over the opening 6 minutes of the fourth quarter. Freshman attackman Quade Bedgood started it with his second goal of the contest at the 14:18 mark, then freshman middie Jeremiah James added another with just under 12 minutes on the clock, completing his hat trick. A Cougar illegal procedure penalty gave the Petrels an extra-man opportunity and a golden chance to grab control of the game. Junior middie Brian Green scored on a breakaway as the penalty expired, giving his team their first man-up goal of the season and an 8-4 advantage. Averett pulled one back with 5:45 left, but the Petrels played outstanding defense down the stretch, not allowing the Cougars to get any closer. A Petrel defensive stop with just over a minute left secured victory for the home side.

Each team scored in the first quarter, but Averett went two goals up with a pair of markers in the opening 5 minutes of the second. The Petrels quickly responded, though, getting James' opening goal with 4:50 left, a goal from sophomore attackman Andrew Collins at the 1:25 mark, and Green's first goal with 5 seconds to go before halftime.

In addition to his hat trick, James tallied a team-high four ground balls. Meanwhile, Green caused four Averett turnovers while scoring a pair of goals. Sophomore goalie Addison Irwin made 12 saves, allowing just five goals on 17 shots, to secure his first victory of the season.

The Petrels forced 27 Cougar turnovers and scooped 29 ground balls. They were successful on 16 of 19 clear attempts and won 9 of 15 faceoffs while outshooting Averett 46-27 overall and 24-17 on goal.

Oglethorpe will be back in action Wednesday evening, when they travel to nearby Rome to take on Shorter at 7 p.m. After that, they'll return home for matchups with Piedmont and Centenary (Louisiana).