College Men’s Lacrosse Final – Guilford 14, Westminster 12

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Brennan Sweeney’s goal with 1:25 left in regulation lifted Guilford College’s men’s lacrosse team to a 14-12 comeback win over visiting Westminster College Wednesday in the Armfield Athletic Center.

Sweeney’s game-winner, his third goal of the day, was his second in a 29-second span. He tallied a man-up goal with 1:54 left to tie the game at 12-12 after the Titans (3-2) scored three straight times to regain the lead.

Westminster’s Alexander Hays won the face-off after Sweeney’s go-ahead goal, which led to two Titans’ shots in the final 66 seconds. Shane Fisher’s shot was blocked, but Westminster regained possession and Adrian Culp fired on goal, only to have Quakers’ netminder Jack Rogers stop the shot for his 10th save of the game. Guilford cleared the ball, and following a timeout, Derek Zacatenco iced the game with an empty-net goal, his third of the game.

After the Quakers took a 3-1 first-quarter lead, Ryan Shorts scored all three of his goals in a 5-0 Westminster run that spanned the first and second quarters. The spurt and put the Titans ahead, 7-3, seven-and-a-half minutes before halftime. While Guilford’s Zacatenco scored with 3:13 left in the half to make it a 7-4 game, momentum was clearly on Westminster’s side entering the intermission.

Guilford struck early and often in the third quarter. With Michael Hickner dominating the face-off circle, the Quakers outscored Westminster, 5-0, in the third quarter as part of a 7-0 Guilford run. Zacatenco and Connor Sweeney both scored twice in the run, which opened a 10-7 Quakers’ lead with 10:33 left in regulation.

Westminster recovered to tally twice in a 44-second span and got back within a goal. After Nick Honkomp scored for Guilford, the Titans reeled off three straight scores and regained the lead on Fisher’s man-up goal with 2:12 left.

Connor Sweeney paced the Quakers with five points on two goals and three assists. Brennan Sweeney added two assists to his two goals for four points. Zach Berkowitz also had two goals and two helpers in his midfield debut. Craig contributed a goal and two assists and Ben Lyons scored twice in his first start of the year. Hickner won 19-of-24 draws and picked up a game-high 11 ground balls. Defender Tony Batchler went coast-to-coast to score a brilliant third-quarter goal that tied the game at 7-7, and also caused three turnovers.

Westminster’s Fisher scored three goals and an assist for a team-high four points. Shorts scored three times and had two ground balls. Dante Serra and Chris Slater also scored twice for the Titans. Carter Hall had 15 saves and four ground balls in goal.

Coach Mark Crisco’s Quakers visit Old Dominion Athletic Conference-rival Randolph-Macon Saturday (3/16) in Ashland, Virginia.