MACON, Ga. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team beat Jacksonville, 12-11, in the Atlantic Sun semifinals on Thursday in Macon, Ga. The Panthers advance to the title game on Saturday at 1 p.m. to face either Mercer or Richmond. Sophomore Dan Lomas scored three goals with one assist and sophomore Adam Seal added two goals including the game-winner.
Jacksonville scored the final three goals of the game and had possession in the final minute with a chance to tie the game but the HPU defense made the final stand to secure the 12-11 victory.
“That was a great conference tournament game,” said head coach Jon Torpey. “I am proud of our guys for their effort today and staying composed when Jacksonville made a run. We live another day.”
Lomas, the Atlantic Sun Offensive Player of the Year, led all players with four points on three goals and one assist. Sophomore Matt Thistle added two goals and one assist. Sophomore Jamie Piluso went 15-of-20 on face-off attempts with 13 ground balls and one caused turnover. Redshirt-junior Austin Geisler made 13 saves in the game.
Duncan Clancy tallied four points for Jacksonville on one goal and three assists. Tom Moore scored three goals.
High Point improves to 9-6 on the season and will meet either Mercer or Richmond in the Atlantic Sun Championship game.
Christian Beith broke a 1-1 tie with a goal at 4:03 in the first half. It sparked a five-goal run for the Panthers to give them a 6-1 lead with 9:09 on the clock in the second quarter. Jacksonville answered with three straight goals in the second to cut the lead to 6-4. David Goldman scored for the Dolphins with eight seconds left in the half. Piluso won the next face-off and bounced in a goal with one second left in the half to give HPU a 7-4 lead at the break.
Jacksonville scored the first three goals of the third period to tie the game 7-7. Tom Moore scored twice, including the game-tying goal with 3:46 on the clock. Lomas scored with one minute left in the quarter to give HPU back the lead. He was pushed after the score by Mike McCredie to give HPU an extra-man opportunity for the rest of the quarter. Brad James scored on the man-up to push HPU’s lead to 9-7 at the end of the third.
Mitchell Dupere and Lomas scored two-straight man-up goals in the fourth quarter to push HPU’s lead to 11-7 with 10:21 left in the game. Seal scored the eventual game-winner to put HPU up 12-8 with 7:38 to play. The Dolphins kept it close with three straight goals in the final seven minutes. Rob Moore made it a one-goal game with 2:22 remaining. High Point was able to hold off the Dolphins in the final minute to secure the one-goal.
Seal scored two goals in the game and freshman Michael LeClair added two assists. Harris Levine caused two turnovers and picked up four ground balls in the game.