BETHANY, W. Va. – The Franciscan men's lacrosse team staved off a late fourth quarter surge by Oglethorpe to come away with a 14-13 win in the Barons' season opener, Monday night.
The Barons held a slim 5-4 lead after halftime and exploded for seven goals in the third to take an 11-6 lead after the first 45 minutes. The Barons came out strong in the third and won the opening faceoff on an Oglethorpe violation. Junior captain Mike Rosaschi scored quickly into Franciscan's possession as he took a pass from senior Paul Modzelewski and netted his first goal of the season to give FUS a 6-4 lead. The Fighting Petrels won the next face off but freshman Jonathan Lee quickly caused a turnover and the Barons were back on offense. Sophomore transfer Joe Lomady continued to impress in his first game as a Baron as he buried the ball in the upper left hand corner of the net for the third time in the game to push the Baron lead to 7-4.
With 13:02 to play in the third, the Barons' defense faced its toughest test of the game as the Barons were called for a two-minute non-releasable penalty to give Oglethorpe a long extra-man opportunity. The Franciscan defense rose to the occasion and shut down the Petrel attack. Freshman goalie Braden Draucek saved the only shot he faced in those two minutes and the Barons completed yet another successful clear to go back on offense and run out the clock on the penalty.
Junior Jonas McCaig and Lomady scored back to back goals on the next two Baron possession to increase their lead to 9-5 with 10:29 to play in the quarter. The Petrels earned another extra-man opportunity but this time Oglethorpe capitalized on their advantage. With 22 seconds left in the EMO, Jibril Stapleton cut the lead back down to four goals with his first goal of the game. Sophomore Dan McCartney answered with his first of the season to give the Barons a five-goal lead, 10-5 with 7:02 play. After another Oglethorpe goal, Lomady closed out the half with his fourth goal of the game to give Franciscan an 11-6 lead into the final quarter.
The Petrels score two quick goals to cut the lead down to 11-8 with 12:50 to play in the game. McCartney sandwiched a pair of goals around Andrew Kwapil's first of the game to push the FUS lead to 13-9 before McCaig scored the Barons' final goal of the game with 3:08 to play.
With just 1:38 showing on the clock, the Petrels went on a four-goal sprint to narrow the lead to just one goal but time was on the Barons' side as they were able to run out the clock after the final face off and hold on to the 14-13 win.
"I am proud of the guys today for kicking off the year with a win," commented head coach Pete Rosaschi. "We shook off a lot of the first game jitters and it's always great to open the season with a victory."
The first two quarters were a back and forth affair as the score was tied four different times. Trailing 4-3 with 10:07 in the second, Modzelewski finished a good clear attempt with a rocket passed the Oglethorpe goalie to tie the game at 4-4. Both goalies were able to keep the game tied for the next 10 minutes until Franciscan finished a clear attempt with six seconds and Modzelewski lobbed a pass to McCaig in front of the cage and McCaig scored in the upper right hand corner of the net as the half time buzzer sounded to give Franciscan a 5-4 lead, one the Barons would not surrender for the rest of the game.
Lomady led all players with five goals in his first game as a Baron while McCaig and McCartney each scored three. Rosaschi and Modzelewski each handed out a pair of assists to go with their goals.
Defensively, CJ Moore caused four turnovers while Modzelewski picked up six ground balls.
Franciscan was a perfect 19-19 on clears and won 11 of the 30 face offs.
The Barons host Carroll (WI) on Saturday for the first game at Memorial Field of the season on Saturday at 2:00 pm.