Messerle's Big Day Lifts Men's Lacrosse to Thrilling 6-5 Win over Catholic

Messerle's Big Day Lifts Men's Lacrosse to Thrilling 6-5 Win over Catholic

Box Score

TOWSON, Md. - For the first time since the 2014 season, the Goucher College men's lacrosse team (8-6, 2-2 Landmark) defeated the Cardinals of Catholic University (7-7, 1-3 Landmark), 6-5, Wednesday afternoon on Beldon Field.

The clear sunny day helped make this an exciting game.

The scoring started early when senior midfielder Derek Bitzer (Doylestown, Pa.) found junior attackman Zephan Harnish (Woodsboro, Md.) 2:50 into the match to put the Gophers up, 1-0.

Two minutes later, junior midfielder Grant Lasorda (Collegeville, Pa.) came down the alley and found the top corner of the net to make it a 2-0 match. Catholic, however, answered quickly scoring a goal one minute later to slice the Goucher lead down to 2-1.

The Gophers held the Cardinals scoreless in the second quarter while scoring two of their own. The goals came from Harnish and junior attackman Mason Gorman (Boise, Idaho), as Goucher opened a 4-1 lead into intermission.

After the half, Catholic was the only team to score during the third period, with a goal from Bennett Bradley to make it a 4-2 match in favor of the Gophers entering the fourth quarter.

Catholic opened up the period with a goal three minutes into play to cut the Goucher lead further to 4-3.

However, both teams remained silent until Goucher's senior midfielder Pierce Bailey (Miami, Fla.) scored on an extra-man opportunity with 2:25 left in regulation to increase the Gopher lead back to two goals (5-3). Shortly after, sophomore attackman Matt Woodson (Timonium, Md.) beat his man from behind the goal and found twine, lifting the Gophers to a 6-2 lead with 2:25 left.

Woodson's tally proved to be the game-winner for Goucher, as the Cardinals would not go out easy, scoring two goals within twenty seconds of one another during the last two minutes of play.

But, over the final minute of action, Goucher's defense shut down the Cardinals after senior goaltender Matt Messerle (Limerick, Pa.) made a save with twenty seconds left. The Gophers then played keep away for the final moments of the match to clinch a key Landmark Conference win by one goal.

Messerle saved 17 out of the 22 shots he faced, setting a career high for save percentage in a game. For the year, Messerle has now made double-digit saves in six matches, as his 17-save performance was his third-highest effort in net for the year.

Messerle also led the team in ground balls with eight, while on defense, senior Jaryd Hartzell (Nazareth, Pa.) posted a team-best three caused turnovers. 

The Gophers travel to Drew University this Saturday for a Landmark Conference matchup. Play starts at 1 p.m.