WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's lacrosse team flexed its new national ranking muscle as the No. 12 Bears powered past Lycoming, 16-6, in away non-conference action on Saturday.
After moving up six spots in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) coaches' poll, the Bears put together a total team effort Saturday to move to 5-0. The impressive early season success matched the Bears' perfect start two seasons ago.
McClure finished with three goals and three assists, all coming in the first half. Atillasoy needed just the first quarter to collect his hat trick as he finished the game with four goals and a helper.
Senior Peter DeSimone, sophomore Joe Mercurio, and junior Sam Mutz each chipped in two goals. DeSimone added two assists to his line. The senior leader's pair of goals moved him to second in career scoring at Ursinus. He finished the day on career goal number 98, passing Eric Farris '10. DeSimone is now only 13 goals shy of passing Dane Mangin '08 for the most in school history (110).
Ursinus dominated Lycoming in many facets of the game. The Bears blasted more shots (51-30), retrieved more ground balls (39-23), and committed less turnovers (24-15).
The Bears won 17 of 25 face-offs. Sophomore Aiden Baltz keyed the offense at the X, winning 16 of 22 face-offs and rewarded himself with a goal after a relentless effort. Baltz racked up 13 ground balls, one shy of the school record he shares with senior Brian Casey.
Ursinus traded the lead with Lycoming (1-4) early but 10 minutes in, the Bears got hot in a hurry to easily pull past the Warriors.
In transition, McClure opened the scoring as he slung a shot into the net less than five minutes in. McClure's goal broke up a period of choppy play on both sides to start.
Travis Rode responded for Lycoming less than a minute later on a running, unassisted goal from a side angle.
A couple minutes later, Atillasoy ripped a high blast by Lycoming keeper Michael Tenant on an assist from McClure. On the ensuing faceoff, Justin Joseph took his own draw the other way for a goal to tie it 2-2.
Ursinus reeled off four unanswered markers less than two minutes apart from 5:31 to 3:38 on the game clock. DeSimone started the scoring train as he scored his 97th career goal to start the quick flurry. Atillasoy, from behind the net, swooped in and shot a crafty close-range wrister.
Great ball movement by Ursinus created an open shot goal by Mutz, assisted by McClure. Atillasoy then bounced in a close-range shot for his third goal of the first quarter to go up 6-2.
Lycoming halted Ursinus' streak for the time being when Rode powered in his second score.
With just a second to go in the first quarter, McClure drove toward the net to beat the buzzer as the Bears took a 7-3 lead into the second. McClure closed his first-quarter frenzy with two goals and two assists.
A shot fired low by DeSimone elevated the score to 8-3 early in the second quarter.
Nearly six minutes without a goal on the board for either team, McClure then stuffed home his third goal of the game. McClure assisted Mercurio's goal with over a minute to go before intermission to give the Bears a 10-4 advantage at halftime.
From the second to third quarters, the scoring pace slowed down. Lycoming controlled the majority of the possession in the second quarter but it was the Bears who took full advantage of their opportunities.
The Ursinus defense stood strong in the third, holding the Warriors out of the net. The third quarter went scoreless until Mercurio recorded his second tally with 2:35 to go in the frame. Atillasoy tally added another goal.
Capping off the Bears' five goal streak, Baltz scooped up the faceoff then drove in to expand the lead to 13-4.
Lycoming picked up a man-up goal to stop a drought, but Atillasoy found sophomore Alex Dean for his second career goal after scoring in the last contest against No. 14 Christopher Newport.
Mutz recorded his second tally, and freshman Tommy Reinhart got in on the scoring with help from DeSimone before Lycoming closed the game with a man-up goal.
Senior goalie Nick Kirk played most of the game, earning the win with seven saves. The defense in front of Kirk was sensational, forcing 16 turnovers by itself. Senior Patrick Bernicker led the way with three caused turnovers and was one of five Bears with two or more of those on the day; that list also included senior Alex Middleman, junior Nolan Sachs, and freshmen Julian Castilleja and Ben Goetz.
Ursinus nearly had a perfect game clearing the ball, going 16 of 17 on their attempts.
Lycoming keeper Michael Tenant faced a barrage of shots, stopping 17.
The streaking Bears return to Patterson Field to host Eastern on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Ursinus will wrap up non-conference action against the Eagles, then open Centennial Conference play 10 days later at No. 8 Gettysburg on Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m.