Balanced Wooster Effort Surmounts Little Giants in 20-7 Win to Open NCAC Play

WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster men's lacrosse team kicked off its North Coast Athletic Conference schedule with an impressive 20-7 victory over Wabash College on Saturday afternoon at John P. Papp Stadium in what was also the home debut the Fighting Scots.

From the start, Wooster (3-4, 1-0 NCAC) utilized its offense as the best defense, as Wabash (3-4, 0-1 NCAC) did not reach its offensive end through the opening 4:56. Meanwhile, junior Ian Brim commenced the Scots' goal-scoring brigade with his eighth tally of the year, coming just 55 seconds into the first quarter.

First-year Cullen Kuhn recorded a season-best 10 groundballs in Wooster 20-7 win over Wabash.

After a goal from junior Alexander Bloom doubled the Scots' advantage to two at the 10:35 mark, Wabash's Tucker Dixon found the back of the net nearly two-and-a-half minutes later to halve the deficit.

From there, goals from senior Matt Parmelee bookended another from Bloom as the Scots took a 5-1 lead heading into the first break.

On the defensive end, Wooster's stifling effort displayed itself early, as the Scots did not allow a shot until 6:53 remaining in the first quarter. Speaking of intensity, first-year Cullen Kuhn proved relentless in his ball-tracking efforts, as the midfielder ended the contest with a season-high 10 groundballs.

Much of the same offensive threat from the first quarter carried over into the second, as five different Scots scored in what was what ultimately a 7-0 run counting the final three tallies from the first period.

Brim tucked away his second goal at the 12:42 mark off the assist from senior CJ Polak on a man-up opportunity before tallies from Kuhn and Bloom were notched just 32 seconds apart, falling at 11:39 and 11:07, respectively.

Senior Josh Herold made it a 9-1 Wooster advantage before back-and-forth goals from Wabash's Collin Brennan and Polak concluded the half with Wooster leading 10-2. Notable, other than Wabash's two first-half goals, the Little Giants did not record a shot on goal in the first half.

Goals from Bloom, Parmelee and junior Sam Kuhn filled the scoresheet for the Scots in the third, as Wabash outscored Wooster 4-3 to cut the deficit to seven (13-6) heading into the final stanza.

In response, the Scots scored seven straight tallies, including goals from first-years Connor Kalish and Luke Liljenstolpe and from goalkeeper-turned-LSM Tyler LaCroix.

Overall, 11 different Scots found the goal scoring column by game's end, including six with at least two goals. Bloom tied his season-best with four goals, followed by Parmelee with three while four others (S. Kuhn, Polak, Herold, Brim) had a brace each. With two goals and four helpers on the day, Herold finished with a game-high six points.

First-year 'keeper Wesley Wagner totaled seven saves before being replaced by first-year Marco Peticca with 5:07 remaining to mark his first collegiate appearance.

Junior Jack Gilio finished with eight groundballs while tying sophomore Sam Delano with a co-team-high three caused turnovers.

In the faceoff department, first-year Rob Hunt went 9-for-11 and junior Erik Barroso finished 6-for-8. In addition, Liljenstolpe went 5-for-7 with six groundballs and first-year Nick Gargaro went fifty percent, finishing 2-for-4 for an aggregate 22-for-30.

Overall, Wooster was 23-for-28 on clear attempts and 4-for-5 on extra-man opportunities. Wooster tied a season-best 15 caused turnovers and fired off a season-high 65 shots.

Up next, the Scots host Washing & Jefferson College (1-4) on Monday, March 20 at 7 p.m.