BETHANY, W.Va. – The Franciscan men's lacrosse team lead by as many as four goals three times but Bethany outscored the Barons 6-2 in the fourth quarter to steal a 17-16 win, Wednesday afternoon.
The Bison jumped out to an early 3-1 lead but sophomore Jonas McCaig and junior Paul Modzelewski continued their hot shooting and led the Barons on a 5-0 run to close out the first quarter and give FUS a 6-3 lead. McCaig added seven goals to his already impressive season total of 40 for the year.
McCaig opened the second quarter with his fourth goal of the game but Bethany answered with two-straight goals to pull within two, 7-5, with 9:11 to play. McCaig and sophomore Mike Rosaschi went back-to-back goals to push the Baron lead back to four goals but the Bison took advantage of a one-minute non-releasable penalty and scored a pair of man-up goals to get within two and cut the lead to one with 2:08 to play. Freshman Dan McCartney took a feed from McCaig to score the half's last goal and give the Barons a 10-8 lead going into the locker room.
The Barons started the third with the ball because of penalty to end the second but after a McCartney shot was saved, the Bison completed a successful clear and Luke Gregor cut the Baron lead back to one goal at 10-9 with 13:56 to play. Sophomore Mark Hanlon won the following faceoff and after a pair of FUS shots nearly missed, Modzelewski sent a shot home to push the Baron lead back to two, 11-9.
After the Bison and Barons traded the next few goals, Hanlon pushed the lead back to four with his first of the game with 3:47 to play in the third. Gregor closed out the quarter with his second of the half and FUS led 14-11 with 15 minutes to play.
Grant Delaney sandwiched a pair of goals around Hanlon's second of the game got the Bison within two of the Barons and Bryan Uth cut the lead one with 9:04 to play. Delaney tied the game with 7:38 to play and the Bison won the next two faceoffs and used the quick possessions to take a 17-15 lead with 6:23 to play.
The Barons took 10 shots over the next 6:14 but could not find the back of the next until McCaig took advantage of an extra man opportunity and scored the game's last goal to close out the scoring at 17-16 in favor of the Bison.
The Barons won the groundball battle (47-39) with Hanlon picking up a team-high 11, and had fewer turnovers (21-26) while the Bison won 18 faceoffs to the Barons' 17.
"I am not sure how many different ways I can say I am proud of these guys, but I'll say it again – I am proud of how they are playing and getting better," remarked head coach Pete Rosaschi.
"We are in these tough one goal games and winning statistically, eventually it will show on the scoreboard. We are almost there."
The Barons have the next two weeks off from games to prepare for their final home game of the season when they welcome Westminster (Pa.) to Memorial Field on Wednesday, April 23. The opening faceoff is set for 4:00 pm and FUS will honors its seniors following the game.