Two late goals backed up The College of Wooster men's lacrosse team's stifling first half, as the Fighting Scots prevailed 10-8 over DePauw University on Saturday afternoon at Greencastle, Ind.
Wooster's (3-7, 2-0 North Coast Athletic Conference) high octane defense was all over DePauw (3-6, 0-2 NCAC) at on the onset, with the Tigers turning the ball over nine times before Lewis Andrews fired the hosts' first shot attempt of the game wide of cage with 4:04 left in the first. In fact, a 10th DePauw turnover followed soon after, the second of which was caused by first-year Joe Citera, while for the period, the Scots had a five-spot tallied up in the caused turnover column.
However, the Tigers were connecting successfully – and in bunches – after halftime, with scoring runs of 4-0 and 3-0 knotting the contest at eight after Buck Dorger's goal with 5:54 remaining.
Junior Wesley Wagner turned aside Jack Richey's shot with 4:43 remaining, and two other Tiger scoring chances were thwarted before senior Joe Altieri fired in the go-ahead tally after a feed from first-year Drake Nickolaison with 3:12 remaining.
Wooster's defensive veterans came through down the stretch, starting with senior Ethan Scully, who caused a turnover with just over three minutes to go. Wooster quickly went the other way, and sophomore Cullen Kuhn delivered an insurance goal with 1:42 on the clock.
Wagner logged another big save in the final 30 seconds, this one coming with the Scots playing a man-down. In fact, four of Wagner's 10 saves came in the final quarter.
Wooster scored the first four goals of the game, with two of the scores coming from the Scots' top-two scorers. First, Peirce assisted on Kuhn's 16th tally of the season with 5:42 left in the opening quarter. Moments into the second period, Kuhn returned the favor when Peirce upped his team lead to 23 goals.
After allowing four unanswered goals in a 1:55 span in the third, Wooster regrouped with a strong final 90 seconds. That stretch started with first-year Drake Nickolaison upping the lead back to two with a man-up goal and junior Cooper Pewitt beat the buzzer at the end of the period.
Kuhn, Nickolaison, and Pewitt scored two goals each, while Citera led the Scots with 10 groundballs and two caused turnovers.
Richey's three goals led all scorers, while DePauw's Donny Bleifuss logged four groundballs and three caused turnovers.
Both teams finished with 35 shots, while Wooster had the slight edge in groundballs (30-27) and faceoffs (11-9).
Next, Wooster plays at Ohio Wesleyan University (4-6, 1-0 NCAC) at 7 p.m. on Friday.