The first season for men’s lacrosse in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) was nothing short of unexpected, as no one appeared to be completely invulnerable. But if March 17 is to foreshadow any of the upcoming campaign, it appears as though Mercyhurst head coach Chris Ryan may once again be at the top. Indeed, his eighth-ranked Lakers (5-1, 1-0 G-MAC) came away with a 20-2 rout of the Davis and Elkins College Senators in Elkins, West Virginia.
The contest saw 11 different Lakers find the back of the visitors’ cage and a defensive dominance that put up a third-quarter shutout. The ice was broken just 2:37 into the contest, as Brandon May picked up a loose grounder. After Senator goalie Luke Norcross turned aside the ensuing shot from Laker Colin Greenway, Sam Crusha picked up a grounder of his own and found his team-leading 12th of the young season. It would be seven minutes before another tally, with Greenway catching a feed from Devin Pipher for his ninth of the season.
But after the Lakers killed off a slashing call on Will Agate 2:09 after Crusha’s tally, the visitors’ high offense began to pick up steam. It began with a 5-1 second-quarter run within the first 3:39 of the quarter, as Evan Schumacher picked up two grounders and quickly found Pipher on just nine and 19 seconds to double the lead. The Senators (0-4, 0-1) got on the board as Senator Kyle Seago found Matt O’Dwyer at 1:24 of the second to beat Alec Starr (5-0, 5.35) for his fourth of the season. However, Laker Dan Kritkausky responded with his fourth just 33 seconds later.
Crusha found his second for the Lakers just 57 seconds after that, then Pipher finished a 3:39 hat trick with his seventh of the campaign. Crusha completed his with 3:36 left in the first half and Greenway found his 10th just nine seconds after assisting on Crusha’s tally. A clear with 1:25 left in the half set up Michael Convery to find Nathan Grenon for his third of the campaign 40 seconds later, finishing off the Lakers’ first double-digit half since April 18, when they posted 12 on Ohio Valley in the first. The opening to the second half was no different for the visitors, as Convery found his second of the season just 53 seconds into the third after a clear.
Grenon and Nate Bartone tallied on not long after for the Lakers, just 43 seconds apart. Peyton Manko’s second of the season at 7:21 spelled the end of Norcross’ (0-3, 18.38) day, but the Senators’ Seago (0-1, 15.84) would fare no better in relief. Grenon found Austin Robare for his fourth of the season just 47 seconds after entering the contest for the Lakers. Seago settled down to temporarily stop the bleeding for more than five and a half minutes, but after the Lakers killed off a holding call on Convery, Caleb Kueber recorded his first career tally with 1:05 left on the clock.
Laker James Wittmeyer’s first of the season came with 12 seconds left, finishing off the Lakers’ fourth quarterly shutout this season.
O’Dwyer would slot his second of the game past the Senators’ William Koestler (0-1, 11.30) just 2:17 into the fourth, but Convery responded just 1:30 later and finished off the Lakers’ third hat trick of the day with 4:35 left in regulation. A tally from Manko with 3:02 left to play finished off the Lakers’ first 20-goal effort since the Ohio Valley contest. The Lakers’ 65 shots were the most for a single game in nearly five years.
In their next game, the Lakers return to Tullio Field against the Lake Erie College Storm on March 24. The Storm are 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the G-MAC.