SAINT LEO, Fla. – Despite rattling off five goals in the first quarter to hold onto a 5-2 lead, the No. 15 Saint Leo men's lacrosse team was unable to hold back Wheeling Jesuit as they gained the upper hand in the second half to topple the Lions by a final score of 9-6 on Wednesday evening at University Turf Stadium.
The Lions drop to 3-2 on the season, while Wheeling Jesuit, who earned votes in the latest USILA DII Coaches Poll, advances its mark to 2-0 on its young season.
Saint Leo was led by freshman Ryan McCarthy, who tallied a hat trick on the night for a game high. Matt Obermeyer, Dylan Yonts, and Chad Marino each scored one goal, while Jake Kavanagh and Ryan Burke earned an assist apiece.
The Cardinals were led by Bryce Brochu, who matched McCarthy's three goals, and added two assists for a game best five points on the night. Brian Frank and Landon Del Prince scored two goals each, while Sean Wright and Tyler Johnson each netted one to close out WJU's goal count for the evening.
The Lions opened the game jogging out to a three goal lead with 8:05 to go in the first period. Brochu tallied the Cardinals' first goal of the night at the 5:15 mark, but McCarthy answered back at the 2:52 mark to pull the Lions ahead, 4-1.
Frank responded 42 seconds later to pull Wheeling Jesuit to within two, 4-2, but a late goal from McCarthy with 40 seconds left in the opening quarter closed out the period with the Lions holding onto a 5-2 lead.
The second stanza was slow moving, with Wheeling Jesuit scoring the only goal of the quarter as Wright found the back of the net off of an assist from Aaron Gutentag to give the Lions a two goal lead at the break, 5-3.
The Cardinals entered into the third period and scored at the 11:54 mark on an unassisted goal by Brochu. Neither team could place the ball between the pipes until Brochu placed another unassisted shot past Moore with 51 seconds remaining in the third quarter, knotting the score at 5-5. Forty-one seconds later, Johnson gave Wheeling Jesuit its first lead of the game on an unassisted goal with 10 seconds to go in the third.
The Cardinals continued to hold onto the upper hand in the final quarter, outscoring the Lions 3-1 to secure the 9-6 south region win.
The Saint Leo men's lacrosse team returns to action on Saturday, March 8, when they host Notre Dame de Namur at University Turf Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Fans who cannot make it to the game will be able to catch the action live on the Saint Leo Sports Network at SaintLeoLions.com.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's lacrosse team, fans can visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.