Second-half run lifts HPU MLAX over Jacksonville, 14-10

• Senior Dan Lomas equaled his career-high with six points on the strength of five goals and an assist.
• Junior Michael LeClair (1g, 5a) and senior Matt Thistle (4g, 2a) gave the Panthers three six-point scorers.
• Freshman Tim Troutner racked up 15 saves to go with two ground balls and a caused turnover.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – For the second week in a row the High Point University men’s lacrosse team used a huge second-half run to earn a 14-10 victory over Jacksonville on Saturday in Vert Stadium.

The Panthers (7-5, 3-2) found themselves tied 7-all midway through the third quarter, but used a 6-0 run to race past the Dolphins (3-8, 1-4).

“I like the way our guys played after halftime, I just think we need to clean some things up from the first half,” head coach Jon Torpey said. “Any conference game is going to be a grind and a battle. Hats off to Jacksonville, they played a really tough game and they always play us tough.”

High Point’s trio of attackmen combined for 18 points (10g, 8a) as each recorded six points on the day. Senior Dan Lomas just missed tying his program goal-scoring record with five goals to go with an assist.

Meanwhile, junior Michael LeClair (1g, 5a) tied the program single-game assist record with five helpers to extend his scoring streak to 38 contests. Similarly, senior Matt Thistle scored four second-half goals to go along with two assists.

“We’ve said this from day one that we think we have one of the best attack groups in the country,” Torpey added. “Those three give us so much in terms of leadership and their ability to dodge, finish and ride.”

In goal, the Purple & White received a boost from freshman Tim Troutner Jr. who notched 15 saves and collected two ground balls.

Coming off the bench, senior Jamie Piluso went 10-16 at the face-off ‘X’ while picking up a team-best seven ground balls. In total, the Panthers earned a 35-31 margin on the ground.

Defensively, senior Zack Price registered a career-high six ground balls and three caused turnovers as redshirt-senior Richard Byrd was credited with four ground balls – also a career high – and a caused turnover. Junior Tanner Landstra added two ground balls and two caused turnovers in the win.

The Panthers weren’t shy on the offensive end as the squad fired 53 shots compared to the 32 they allowed on the other end. Leading the way was Lomas’ 15 shot attempts, which broke his own program single-game mark.

From the midfield, junior Dallas Bridle posted two goals and an assist as sophomore Peyton Garrett and freshman Jack Schleppy rounded out the goal scoring. Likewise, junior Sean Harrison and sophomore Connor Robinson each added an assist.

HPU came out of the gates hot with three goals in the first six minutes to build an early 3-0 lead. Lomas opened the scoring with a man-up goal 80 seconds into the contest. Schleppy (11:31) and Garrett (8:50) followed with tallies to complete the run.

However, the Dolphins tallied back-to-back scores midway through the first to make it 3-2 before Lomas added another goal (4-2. 0:15).

Early in the second quarter Jacksonville pulled back to within one on Chase Miller’s goal with 12:48 on the clock (4-3). But nine minutes later Lomas answered with his third goal of the day to make it 5-3 (3:11).

JU fought right back with a goal late in the second quarter to enter the break trailing 5-4.

As he did in the first half, Lomas opened the second-half scoring as HPU regained a two-goal edge (6-4, 13:24). The Dolphins bounced right back with a goal before Bridle scored off Harrison’s assist (7-5, 11:55).

The visitors fought back with consecutive goals to even the score at 7-all (9:35). But yet again Lomas has the answer for HPU.

The Burlington, Ontario native’s fifth goal allowed the Panthers to grab an 8-7 lead with 7:58 left in the third. From there, Thistle added two goals (6:47, 13:05) before LeClair’s tally at the 11:00 mark of the fourth gave HPU an 11-7 advantage.

After JU was called for two penalties, Thistle took advantage with his third goal of the half as HPU upped its lead to five (12-7, 9:15). A minute later, Bridle converted LeClair’s fifth assist of the day to close the 6-0 run (13-7, 7:39).

Dakota Rohlin halted the run with goals at the 5:19 and 4:15 marks to pull the Dolphins within four (13-9). Later, a third straight goal for JU made it 13-10 before Thistle notched his fourth goal to close the scoring and give HPU a 14-10 victory.

The Panthers leave the Triad for the first time in the month of April to take on Furman in Greenville, S.C. next Saturday (April 23) at noon.