HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s lacrosse team scored five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to get an 8-7 win over Jacksonville on Saturday at Vert Stadium. It was HPU’s first Atlantic Sun game of the season and sophomore Matt Thistle had five assists, including on HPU’s last three goals.
Down 6-3 entering the fourth quarter, High Point took an 8-6 lead when Thistle found Stevie Kirkup for his first goal of the season with 9:48 remaining. The Dolphins got within a goal on David Goldman’s second score of the game with 4:04 remaining and finished the game on a man-up situation, but HPU’s defense forced a turnover in the closing seconds.
“We’ve got to find a way to come out harder in the third quarter,” said HPU head coach Jon Torpey. “It was the same as last week but our guys kept working and had a great fourth quarter again. The defense was great in the last five minutes to keep Jacksonville from tying it. We’ve just got to get back to work and figure out how to play four full quarters.”
Sophomore attackman Dan Lomas had a hat trick along with seven ground balls and two caused turnovers for the Panthers. Sophomore midfielder Brad James scored twice and sophomore Jamie Piluso went 12-for-18 on faceoffs, winning the last four of the game.
Jacksonville’s Rob Wertz had a hat trick and was the only Dolphin to record multiple goals. Duncan Clancy had a goal and an assist for the Dolphins and goalie Pete DeLuca made 18 saves with a pair of ground balls.
High Point improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Atlantic Sun play while Jacksonville fell to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in league play.
The score was tied 3-3 at halftime before Jacksonville scored the only three goals of the third quarter. Wertz’s third goal of the game made it 4-3 with 9:19 remaining in the quarter and Tyler Black and Chase Miller each scored before it was over.
High Point came out on fire in the fourth quarter with Lomas scoring just 1:06 into it. In less than four minutes of play, High Point had scored four goals, including the tying goal from Lomas with 12:07 remaining and the go-ahead goal by James with 11:11 on the clock. Kirkup’s goal gave HPU a two-goal cushion to keep the Panthers ahead when Goldman scored.
HPU goalie Austin Geisler made six saves to earn the win. The Panthers outshot Jacksonville 38-30 and had 41 ground balls compared to Jacksonville’s 17.
High Point is back in action with two games next week. The Panthers host Michigan on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Atlantic Sun foe VMI on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Vert Stadium.