GEORGETOWN - The Southwestern University men's lacrosse team bounced back at home on Sunday afternoon, using a strong attack and clutch defense in the waining minutes to earn a thrilling 11-10 win over Whittier at Varsity Field.
The Poets had the shot advantage, 42-29, and forced the Pirates into 32 turnovers. Southwestern forced 29 Whitter turnovers and had 41 ground balls. The Pirates were also 4 of 7 in man up situations and won 12 face offs.
It was a wild first period as Whittier jumped all over the Pirates, taking a 3-1 lead in the first four minutes. Senior Matt Amerie scored a pair of goals to even it at three before Whittier closed the first with a goal and a 4-3 lead.
After the Poets made it 5-3 to start the second, Southwestern scored three consecutive goals as Amerie scored back-to-back goals followed by a man-up goal by junior Jared Welsh to give SU their first lead of the game at 6-5.
Whittier evened the score, but junior Kai Knight-Turcan put the Pirates back out front as they went to the break ahead 7-6.
Freshman Zac Asbury and Knight-Turcan scored back-to-back goals in the third to push the lead to three. After the Poets responded with two goals of their own, Amerie responded with his fifth goal of the contest to put Southwestern up 10-8 going into the final period.
Welsh made it an 11-8 contest, but Whittier had a final run in them, making it 11-9 with 3:25 to play. Southwestern got a save from sophomore Kyle Kuberski and were able to hold possession until about a minute remaining.
The Pirates defense made it tough on Whittier in the waining seconds and despite a goal with two seconds left, it would not be enough as a face off win by junior Nathan Heaviland closed the contest and gave Southwestern the huge win.
Kuberski was outstanding in goal, finishing with 14 saves while sophomore Tanner Wallace had three caused turnovers and five ground balls. Junior Steven Mesquiti and sophomore Bailey Middleton each had two caused turnovers while senior Parker Rankin had five ground balls.
Amerie had five goals to lead the attack while Welsh and Knight-Turcan each had two to go with an assist. Asbury added a goal and three assists while junior Everett Barger had a goal and an assist. Junior Logan Spalding had two assists in the contest.
Nate Heritage, Connor Dee, and Billy Shaffer each had two goals while Ryland Clay had two assists to lead the Poets. Kevin O'Donnell had seven ground balls while Alex Cramer finished with nine saves in goal.
Southwestern improves to 3-4 on the year and will continue their seven game homestand on Friday as they welcome in future SCAC-foe Johnson & Wales for a 7 PM face off.