HPU MLAX Panthers Host Knights On Senior Day

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team will wrap up the regular season against Bellarmine at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Vert Stadium on the American Sports Network.

The Panthers (7-6, 3-2) will look to claim the No. 3 seed in next week’s Southern Conference Tournament. Meanwhile, the Knights (4-7, 2-3) are fighting to overtake HPU in the race for the third spot.

Senior Day:
Prior to the start of the game, the Purple & White will recognize the first four-year class of seniors. The seventeen-member class has seen the HPU lacrosse program go from a club team to a well-respected program in just four years.

TV Clearances:
Those who are unable to make it to Vert Stadium on Saturday can still watch the game live on the local Time Warner Sports Channel or WMYV Greensboro. The full national clearance report can be found here.

Last Time Out:
The Purple & White used a record-setting offensive output to earn an 18-5 victory over VMI on Friday, April 17 in Lexington, Va.

Junior Matt Thistle (3g, 2a) led an offensive onslaught, which saw 18 different Panthers tally a point. Defensively, freshman Zach Tuell got the win with 11 saves and two goals allowed in 49 minutes of action.

Junior Dan Lomas and sophomores Michael LeClair and Sean Harrison each added two goals for HPU. Nine other Panthers scored one goal as the team set a new single-game goal scoring mark – including the first career goals by freshmen Ben McCormack and Connor Vanderbeek.

In the midfield, redshirt-junior Harris Levine led HPU with five ground balls and also chipped in with a goal and an assist. Meanwhile, redshirt-junior Brad James dished out two of the squad’s nine assists. The squad’s 27 points were the most tallied by HPU in the program’s history.

Juniors James Dunn and Zack Price each caused two turnovers as the Panthers caused eight Keydet miscues. At the face-off ‘X,’ junior Jamie Piluso and senior Chris Davila combined to go 13-of-23 (.565).

Likewise, the Panthers’ man-down defense was nearly flawless on Friday night. Despite HPU having a season-high nine penalties for 9:30, VMI only registered one man-up goal.

The Opponent:
Bellarmine, the SoCon preseason favorites, has had an up-and-down season highlighted by its 11-6 loss to Richmond on April 18 in Louisville, Ky. The Knights led the conference-leading Spiders 6-4 at halftime before Richmond finished the game on a 7-0 run to pull away for the victory.

Sophomore Austin Shanks and freshman Andrew Schoeneck both tallied two goals to lead the offense. Meanwhile, freshman Drew Goethals made 16 saves as Richmond fired 41 shots on the day.

Shanks is the Bellarmine’s leading scorer with 30 goals and nine assists and is second in the conference with 3.55 points per game. Meanwhile, sophomore’s Jack Perkins (14g, 5a,) and Tucker Ciessau (13g, 8a) are the team’s other main offensive threats.

On the other side of the field, Goethals has started all 11 games during his first collegiate season. The Texan is third in the conference in goals against average (9.53) and fourth in save percentage (.535). Senior Colin Hart is the veteran leader of the defense and leads the team with 16 caused turnovers and is second in ground balls (35).

The Knights turn to another freshman at the face-off ‘X.’ Connor Harryman is fourth in the league with a .533 winning percentage as Bellarmine is third in the conference in ground balls per game.

Panther Notes:

• The Knights hold a 2-0 lead in the all-time series with a 12-5 win in 2013 and a dramatic 10-9 win last year. Both of those contests were played at Bellarmine.

• Dan Lomas (5g) and Matt Thistle (3g, 2a) combined for 10 points while Austin Geisler made 17 saves in the overtime setback in last year’s meeting with BU.

• Lomas, Thistle and sophomore Michael LeClair are among top-five scorers in the SoCon this season. Thistle leads the league with 3.73 ppg, while LeClair is third (3.31 ppg) and Lomas is fifth (2.92 ppg).

• The Panthers have had 28 different players tally a point this season. In comparison, only 22 Panthers were credited with a point in 2014.

• Senior Pat Farrell and junior Zack Price have combined to cause 41 turnovers and are the only teammates to rank in the top-15 nationally in CTs per game. Price is seventh (1.92/g) while Farrell is 14th (1.69/g).

• Junior Jamie Piluso is 13th in the nation and leads the SoCon with a .573 face-off percentage. He was 10-of-17 against VMI on April 11.

Next Up:
The Southern Conference Tournament will begin with the semifinals on Thursday, April 30 and the championship on Saturday, May 2. Richmond and Mercer play on Saturday to decide which team will host the tournament.