PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The High Point University men’s lacrosse team ended its inaugural season with a loss at No. 17 Drexel in Philadelphia, Pa. on Saturday. Redshirt-freshman Brad James and freshman Michael Messenger tallied three points each and redshirt-sophomore Anthony Porchetta made 17 saves in the 14-8 loss.
High Point made it a two-goal game in the third quarter, 7-5, before the 17th-ranked Dragons went on a 6-0 run to take control of the game.
“It was great to see the guys keep fighting and cut Drexel’s lead to 7-5 in the third quarter,” said head coach Jon Torpey. “Drexel is a really talented team with a chance to win the CAA. Our achilles heel all season has been the ability to play all 60 minutes and that showed again today. We have a lot of work to do heading in to next year but these guys have laid the foundation for a successful program.”
Messenger scored a hat trick to lead the Panthers while James had one goal and two assists. Freshman Dan Lomas added two goals and sophomore Matt Thistle had two assists.
Porchetta made his first start of the season, coming up with 17 saves while allowing 13 goals. Redshirt-junior Garrett Swaim picked up five ground balls.
The Panthers were 18-of-19 on clear attempts in the game.
Ben McIntosh recorded six points for the Dragons with four goals and two assists. Robert Chuch added three goals and one assist and Frank Fusco and Ryan Belka each added three points. Cal Winkelman made seven saves for the win in goal.
Adam Seal scored first for High Point with 12:48 on the clock in the first quarter. James picked up a ground ball near midfield and fed the ball forward to Seal who scored from the right alley.
Drexel scored the final three goals of the first quarter to open up a 3-1 lead. Belka scored first with an assist by McIntosh. Church followed with a goal at 10:06 and with 8:39 on the clock Nick Trizino bounced a shot Porchetta. The teams played the final eight and half minutes of the period without scoring.
Messenger opened scoring in the second half with a goal from the right post after an HPU faceoff win. The Dragons scored four in a row to open up a 7-2 lead. McIntosh capped off the run with a high shot from the left side after a pass from Belka.
Porchetta made a point blank save on a shot from Church with 3:32 left in the second quarter. After a successful clear Messenger backed in to the right post and scored with a behind-the-back shot at 2:51.
With 9:20 on the clock in the third quarter Thistle made a quick pass in to traffic which Lomas collected and deposited in the back of the net. HPU cut Drexel’s lead to two, 7-5, at 4:23 in the third. James passed across the goal to a wide-open Mitchell Dupere for a goal.
The Dragons went on a three-goal run to end the third quarter and push the lead back to 10-5. With eight seconds left in the quarter Trizano scored from the top of the offensive zone to cap off the run.
Drexel added to its lead with three goals in the fourth quarter, including two by McIntosh. Lomas scored from right post after a shovel pass from James with 5:34 left in the game to start a three-goal run by the Panthers. James found the back of the net next with an assist by Thistle and Messenger scored HPU’s final goal of the game. Messenger’s goal came after Vince Garman carried the ball up for a clear and picked up the assist for his first point of the season.
Seal finished the game with one goal, three ground balls and one caused turnover.
High Point finishes the season with a 3-12 overall record that includes wins against Towson, Michigan and Mercer.