COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's lacrosse team was unable to sustain an early onslaught on Wednesday night, jumping out to a big lead with a dominat first quarter and change before visting Washington College got hot and rode a wave of scoring to a tense 13-12 victory under the lights.
Sophomore Bobby McClure led the way with three goals and two assists for the Bears (1-7, 0-2), who suffered their second straight one-goal setback to open league play. Senior Ian Desenberg scored three first-half goals and added an assist and junior Peter DeSimone paired two goals with a helper.
Ursinus led 7-2 after a pair of quick-strike goals to open the second quarter, but the Shoremen (6-3, 1-1) closed to within one at halftime and netted four in a row in the third to open up a 12-9 advantage. A late surge from the Bears – capped by senior Gerard Brown's goal with 3:35 to go – fell just short as three turnovers in the closing stages loomed large.
With freshman Rei Lopez at the controls, the Bears concocted a fast start with some make-it take-it lacrosse. McClure scored at the left post off a feed from the rookie just seven seconds into the contest, and Ursinus twice stacked a pair of goals less than 35 seconds apart in the first 16 minutes.
DeSimone bounced a shot past Washington College goalie Ben Flood, and McClure's pass to Desenberg dashing in from midfield was perfectly in stride for the senior to fire home the first of his three markers.
The Shoremen netted back-to-back goals to close within 3-2 and set off a wild rest of the half. Desenberg ripped a top-shelf rocket past Flood with 43.9 ticks left in the first period, and sophomore Noah Frantz blasted home his first goal of the season – and second of his career – just 9.3 seconds later as Lopez secured the faceoff and passed over to junior Patrick Bernicker, who notched his second career assist.
McClure finished a wheeling shot just 15 seconds into the second stanza before a fast-break goal came 34 seconds later. Senior Brett Wojtkowiak scooped up a ground ball and fed ahead to sophomore Evan Scott, who passed off to DeSimone. DeSimone's shovel pass found freshman Hakan Atillasoy for a quick shot at the right post and a 7-2 lead.
Washington College got its offense untracked over the remainder of the half, twice closing to within one goal and taking some momentum into the break despite trailing 9-8.
The visitors continued to roll in the third, taking their first lead on Nick Boyle's goal with 8:52 on the clock and pushing the upper hand to three on a man-down marker by Tyler Powers.
Struggling to find a flow on attack, Ursinus turned to its defense to stem the tide. The Bears staved off a 6-on-4 advantage before Desenberg stepped in front of a pass at midfield, raced the other way, and found McClure alone at the left post for a critical goal with 47.2 seconds on the third-quarter timer.
Freshman Joe Mercurio and DeSimone connected for the second time as DeSimone sent a high shot into the net on another man-up opportunity to slice the deficit to 12-11. Trey Ritter's fourth of the night gave the Shoremen another two-goal cushion, but Brown took a pass from McClure and unloaded a laser top shelf to make it 13-12 with 3:35 left.
Junior Elliott Shevitz made a pair of impressive saves on the next two Shoremen possessions, but each was undone by a turnover on the clearing attempt. With time winding down, Washington College threw a pass away before the Bears called timeout with 40.2 seconds to go. Unfortunately, another turnover doomed Ursinus' hopes of a late equalizer.
The Shoremen got big games from Ritter (four goals), Powers (three goals), Peter Jacobs (two goals, two assists), and Charlie Walker (one goal, three assists) to offset sizeable Ursinus advantages in faceoffs (18-11) and ground balls (35-21). Flood posted eight of his 11 saves in the second half.
Lopez finished 15-of-25 on faceoffs, registered his first career point, and grabbed a career-high 11 ground balls for the Bears, who owned a 37-36 edge in shots but committed 14 turnovers to just eight for the Shoremen.
Junior Nick Kirk had two saves in the first half before giving way to Shevitz, who finished with five.
The Bears continue CC play at Swarthmore on Saturday.