GEORGETOWN, Texas - On an extremely windy Tuesday afternoon the Southwestern men's lacrosse team was narrowly defeated by the US Merchant Marine Academy, 18-13.
The Mariners jumped on the board first, scoring two goals in the first two minutes of the game to take an early lead. Tyler Downing took the faceoff after the second goal and not only won it, but gathered the ball and charged to the goal to pull Southwestern within one, 2-1, with 12:46 to go in the first quarter. Jeremy Tufnell, assisted by Jamie Long, punched one in at the 8:04 mark to bring the game even once again. The teams traded goals the rest of the quarter as the game headed into the second frame tied 4-4.
Downing scored the first goal of the second quarter, unassisted, to hand SU a 5-4 lead. The advantage would be short-lived, however, as USSMA scored less than a minute later to tie it up once again. With 8:28 to go in the quarter the Mariners' Jeff Harty scored, but this time it was Southwestern that had the immediate answer as Connor Smith took the faceoff all the way to the goal to tie the count at 6-6.
The Mariners closed out the half on a 3-0 run to take a three goal lead, 9-6, into the break.
After the half USMMA added one more goal to push their lead to four, but Michael Villa answered to pull the Pirates within three once again. As the quarter wound to a close the Mariners out-scored SU 3:1 to lead by seven, 15-8, through three quarters.
Just ten seconds into the fourth USMMA's Sean Zakow added another goal to give the Mariners their largest lead of the game 16-8. With their never say die attitude the Pirates began to chip away at the lead, scoring four goals in three and a half minutes to pull within four, 16-12, with 7:42 to play.
The Merchant Marine Academy jumped back into action and posted two more goals to extend their lead. Downing's goal, assisted by Smith, with two seconds remaining brought the game to the 18-13 final.
Downing led the offensive attack for Southwestern with five goals on the afternoon. Long served as the set-up man for the offense with four assists and scored one goal. The Mariner's Sean Zakow was the highlight of the offense for USMMA, recording seven assists and two goals.
Southwestern slightly trailed in shots, 41-37, but picked up 21 fewer groundballs in the loss (53-32) and committed two more turnovers.
SU continues to search for their first win of the season, falling to 0-4. They continue in their homestand to face Trine University on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.