LOUISVILLE, KY – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team took a 12-5 loss at Bellarmine on Saturday afternoon in Louisville, Ky. Sophomore Matt Thistle scored two goals and freshman Bryce Parietti had one goal and one assist.
“The team gave a great effort for four quarters but our midfield just couldn’t do enough to limit Bellarmine in transition,” said head coach Jon Torpey. “They are one of the best transition teams we will face. We limited their opportunities at times but their experience showed in the second half. Defensively, we played well on ball but we need to improve off ball. Mitchell Dupere, Bryce Parietti and Austin Geisler played well. The team keeps getting better every day.”
The Panthers score two straight to make it a 4-2 Bellarmine lead early in the third quarter. The Knights answered with six straight goals top open up a 10-2 lead on their way to a seven-goal win.
Redshirt-freshman Mitchell Dupere also scored two goals for the Panthers. Sophomore goalkeeper Austin Geisler made 13 saves with one caused turnover and one ground ball. Harris Levine and Joseph Taulane each picked up two ground balls.
Karsen Lueng scored two goals and notched three assists for Bellarmine. Cameron Gardner added four goals on six shots. Michael Ward scored twice and picked up three ground balls. Dilon Ward made 16 saves for the win.
High Point won 12-of-20 faceoffs led by freshman Jamie Piluso who was 9-for-16 at the faceoff X. The Panthers were 16-for-21 on clear attempts while Bellarmine went a perfect 24-for-24.
Bellarmine got on the board first with 10:17 remaining in the first quarter. Ryan Scinta had the ball checked away by an HPU defender but Gardner picked up the ground ball for the Knights. BU reset its offense and Reid Wesley found Gardner for the first goal of the game.
Thistle grabbed a pass from freshman Dan Lomas behind the Bellarmine goal and came around for a quick shot at 4:41 in the opening quarter but the Knights’ goalie Dillon Ward made a great save.
The Knights made it a 2-0 game with 3:51 on the clock in the first quarter. Brogan Hill made a spin move past an HPU defenseman and found Will Cary to the right of the cage for a quick goal. BU pushed the lead to 3-0 with an unassisted goal by Michael Ward with 1:46 to play in the first.
After nearly 10 scoreless minutes in the second quarter Michael Ward found Hill streaking through the crease for the Knights’ fourth goal of the game.
Thistle put HPU on the scoreboard with 4:37 remaining in the half. Thistle passed to Parietti, shook loose from his defender and immediately got the ball back. He shot from left to right across the goal for the Panthers first goal of the game. Parietti’s assist was his first point of the season.
Dupere made it a two-goal lead with a score at 12:55 in the third quarter. Dupere brought the ball around the goal to the left side and scored with a low shot at Ward’s feet.
The High Point defense weathered a two and a half minute offensive assault by the Knights in the third quarter without allowing a goal. With 6:36 on the clock HPU was able to clear the ball and get an offensive possession. The Panthers turned the ball over just a few second in to the possession, which turned the momentum to Bellarmine.
Leung ran the ball up the right side and passed behind him to Trevor Timmerberg who fired a hard shot past Geisler for a goal with 6:04 on the clock. Just 42 seconds later Leung found Michael Ward right in front of the cage for a goal to make it a 6-2 Bellarmine lead. The Knights scored three more times in the third quarter to lead 9-2.
The Knights scored first in the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 10-2. Parietti answered for the Panthers with 13:48 remaining. He ran the ball from the top of the offensive zone to the right of the cage, cut back and shot to the near post for his first goal of the season. Thistle added an unassisted goal with 10:50 on the clock to make the score 10-4.
Bellarmine scored two straight, one from Gardner and one from Leung, with under five minutes left to lead HPU 12-4. Dupere added a goal for the Panthers with 54 seconds left in the game for a final score of 12-5.
The Panthers, 1-4, will wrap up the three-game road trip with a contest at Jacksonville on March 2. The game will faceoff at 2 p.m. The Dolphins are 0-2 with loses to No. 6 Duke and No. 19 Ohio State.