GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The eighth-ranked Ursinus College men's lacrosse team opened their Centennial Conference slate with a tough matchup at perennial power No. 9 Gettysburg as the Bears dropped their first game of the season, 13-9.
Gettysburg's swarming defense frustrated the attack-minded Bears (6-1, 0-1), who managed just four goals in the first three quarters and were held to their lowest output of the season as the Bullets remained unbeaten in 20 all-time meetings. Ursinus came into Saturday's contest scoring just under 14 goals per game.
Junior attack Bobby McClure scored three goals after a school record-tying six goals (eight points) in the last game against Eastern. McClure, the reigning CC player of the week, kept up his strong scoring prowess as he earned his sixth hat trick in the first seven games of the season. With 83 career goals, he sits just a goal away from a three-way tie for fifth place on Ursinus' all-time list.
The Bullets (7-2, 1-0) scored two goals in the first couple minutes to set the early tone and used seven unanswered tallies bridging halftime to break free of the Bears. Gettysburg controlled possession and made the most of its opportunities, ripping d 30 shots on goal compared to the Bears' 19.
Gettysburg protected the ball better as the hosts turned it over 15 times to the Bears 21' miscues.
Despite trailing by nine entering the fourth quarter, Ursinus refused to pack it in; the Bears outgained the Bullets 5-0 in the closing quarter.
Gettysburg's Brian Kolen wrapped around the cage and finished a low shot on a delayed penalty call to give the Bullets an early 1-0 lead over a minute in. Kieran Ward scored on a left-handed shot to go up 2-0 at 11:56. Sophomore Hakan Atillasoy got the Bears on the board as he looked to shoot a lefty shot then reversed it into a right-handed blast from deep at 10:16.
Six minutes later, Gettysburg went up 3-1 when a long pass across the field by Blake Gray set up Kolen for a 30-yard shot. Gray found the bottom right corner of the goal on an over-handed shot to give the Bullets a 4-1 edge after one quarter of play.
With under two minutes to go in the first quarter, Ursinus was dealt a blow when senior keeper Nick Kirk left the game due to injury. Junior Matt Nunziata came into his second career game to replace Kirk; he held his own in the cage, finishing with 12 saves.
Atillasoy took a shot wide left of the net which actually found McClure on the side perfectly for a close-range goal over two minutes into the second quarter to get within 4-2.
After McClure's first goal at 12:49 in the second, the Bullets reeled off seven unanswered markers over the course of the second and third quarters to take an 8-2 lead into halftime and a 13-4 edge into the final quarter.
Fueling the Gettysburg scoring contingent was Gray, who scored five goals and added an assist on the day. Kolen and Kadin Kightlinger each had two goals and a helper, while Jack Fletcher handed out three assists along with a goal.
McClure's second goal midway through the third quarter put an end to a scoring drought which lasted for nearly 20 minutes of game action. McClure pocketed his third on a blast from 10 yards out with 3:33 remaining in the period.
Trailing by a sizeable margin, the Bears owned the fourth quarter by shutting out Gettysburg and scoring the game's last five goals. Senior midfielder Sam Isola slung in a long lefty blast to get the score to 13-5.
Sophomore Joe Mercurio put one in the back of the net from an assist by freshman Tommy Reinhart. Junior Sam Mutz scored an unassisted wrap-around tally, and junior Evan Scott got into the scoring when he received a pass from senior Peter DeSimone.
Freshman defender Ben Goetz capitalized on a man-up situation to score from Scott's pass with 24 seconds to go, the Bears' only conversion on nine extra-man chances.
Bullets goalie Scott MacMillan earned the victory with nine saves. The teams split 24 faceoffs, and Gettysburg owned a 45-33 lead in ground balls. DeSimone and sophomore Aiden Baltz picked up five grounders apiece for Ursinus.
The Bears look to bounce back from their first setback when they travel to Washington College Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game.