HPU Men’s LAX Hosts Air Force on Saturday

Posted by Press Release on March 20, 2015 at 12:05 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team will look to get back to its winning ways on Saturday at noon against Air Force in Vert Stadium.

Saturday’s contest will be the Panthers’ (3-5) last non-conference game of the regular season. In 2016, the Falcons (4-4) will join the Southern Conference and host HPU in a league play.

Last Time Out:
The Purple & White took a tough 12-11 setback in overtime at Mercer to open SoCon play in Macon, Ga.

HPU led the game 8-6 at the half, but the Bears fought back and held an 11-10 advantage with under a minute to play. Sophomore Michael LeClair scored with 26 seconds left in regulation to send the contest to overtime, but Mercer’s Scott Baird scored in the overtime period to give the Bears the win.

LeClair starred for the Panthers scoring four goals and dishing out two assists while also collecting two ground balls. Freshman Connor Robinson chipped in with two goals for his third multi-goal game in his last five outings. Freshman T Moyer added a goal and an assist.

Redshirt-senior Austin Geisler made 17 saves in goal and nearly stopped the game winning shot that just barely rolled into the cage after glancing off of Geisler. He was also one of four Panthers to record a caused turnover in the contest.

Both teams attempted 45 shots with HPU being slightly more accurate. The Purple & White had 31 shots on goal while Mercer had 29. Mike Nugent, the Bears’ goalie, played well with 20 saves to bolster the home team’s efforts.

Junior Jamie Piluso won the face-off battle going 14-of-26 (.538) on the day. He also led HPU with seven ground balls. Despite his performance the Panthers had a -9 (30-21) margin in ground balls.

The Opponent:

The Falcons won their fourth of five games on March 21 with a 9-6 win over Detroit Mercy in USAFA, Colo. The defense led the team to victory by limiting the Titans to just 23 shots. Junior Christopher Allen paced the offense with three goals while freshman Chris Walsch added two scores.

Air Force opened the season with three straight losses to Duke, Marist and Denver. However, the team has won four of the last five with its only loss in that span coming in three overtimes to Vermont.

In his first season of college lacrosse, Walsch leads the team in points (29) and goals (21). Senior Keith Dreyer has dished out nine assists and is one of three Falcons with 11 goals in 2015. Allen and freshman Nick Hruby are the other two to tally 11 goals this spring.

Junior Doug Gouchoe anchors the defense in the net. The Concord, Mass. native is 17th in the nation with a goals against average of 8.66 and has compiled a save percentage of .517.

Senior Kyle O’Brien has been a pest to opposing offenses all season. He is 11th in the nation with 1.75 caused turnovers per game and also leads the Falcons with 21 ground balls. Freshman Sean LaVine has also caused 10 turnovers this season.

Air Force has had six different players take a face-off this season and has combined to go 83-of-165 (.503) in the face-off circle.

Panther Notes:

• The Panthers and Falcons met on Feb. 10, 2013 in HPU’s third ever game. Air Force won 14-4 that day. Matt Thistle scored a goal and dished out two assists while Dan Lomas, Zack Price and Christian Beith added a goal apiece.

• Juniors Dan Lomas and Matt Thistle finished first and second in the Atlantic Sun in points last season combining for 101 points (59 g, 42a). The pair has 52 points already this season. (36g, 16a).

• Sophomore Michael LeClair is tied for third on the team in goals (14) and is second in assists (13). The sophomore has two 6-point outings this season including a 4-goal, 2-assist game at Mercer.

• Dan Lomas, Matt Thistle and Michael LeClair combined to score 125 points last season. That makes them the nation’s fourth highest scoring returning trio. They have 79 so far this spring.

• Redshirt-senior Austin Geisler is coming off a 17-save outing at Mercer last Saturday. The Fredericksburg, Va. native is seventh in the nation with 13.00 saves per game. Meanwhile, his save percentage of .536 puts him at 23rd in the country.

• Junior Jamie Piluso won in the face-off circle against Mercer winning 14-of-26 (.538). He is 120-of-209 (.574) on the year.

• The Panthers have had 24 different players tally a point this season. In comparison, only 22 Panthers was credited with a point in 2014.

• Senior Pat Farrell and junior Zack Price make one of four duos in the nation to cause at least 10 turnovers apiece this season. Farrell has 13 and Price has caused 10.

Next Up:
The Purple & White will jump back into Southern Conference play when it hosts Furman at noon on March 28.

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