GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Wingate built an eight-goal lead and held off a late Tusculum run for a 13-9 victory in South Atlantic Conference men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Field.
Conor Grosbach had two goals and four assists and Seth Grimwood scored three goals for the Bulldogs (8-5, 6-1 SAC), who led 12-4 late in the third quarter before the Pioneers (4-8, 2-5 SAC) rallied to within 13-9 with under four minutes remaining. Nine different players had at least one goal for Wingate, which outshot Tusculum by a 38-27 margin and had 30 ground balls to 17 for the Pioneers.
Liam Macdonald led the Pioneers with two goals and an assist, Nate Wade scored twice and Dallas Wade and Chris Ryan each finished with a goal and an assist for the Pioneers, who had six man-up opportunities but cashed in with just one goal.
Goals from Grosbach and Bobby Padden gave Wingate a quick 2-0 after three minutes, but the Pioneers came back on goals from Ryan and Macdonald to tie the score at 2-2 with 3:54 left in the opening quarter. Marc James scored just 33 seconds after Macdonald's goal to restore Wingate's lead, and Padden scored his second of the quarter with 33 seconds left as the Bulldogs led 4-2 after one quarter.
THe Bulldogs expanded their lead in the second quarter as Grosbach and Reese Orman scored a minute apart for a 6-2 lead, then Grimwood netted his first of the afternoon with 1:30 left to extend the Wingate advantage to 7-2. The Pioneers responded in the final minute as Nate Wade scored with 47 seconds left to pull Tusculum within 7-3 at halftime.
Wingate broke the game open to start the third quarter, scoring four times in a span of 2 minutes, 42 seconds to take an 11-3 lead. Nate Wade broke the run with 9:04 left in the third quarter, but Grimwood's third goal of the day gave Wingate a 12-4 lead with 2:19 left in the third quarter.
After Macdonald scored with 59 seconds left in the third quarter, the Pioneers got a man-up goal from Dallas Wade to trim the deficit to 12-6 with 13:13 to go. Jeremy Sullivan's goal with 10:31 to play extended the Wingate lead to 13-6, but goals from Keegan Bell, Quentin Jennings and Joel Edgar brought the Pioneers back to within 13-9 with 3:40 to go. However, a pair of penalties to the Pioneers in the final two minutes enabled the Bulldogs to drain the clock.
In addition to his first career goal, Edgar had a team-high four ground balls for the Pioneers. Andrew Kransberger had three ground balls along with Ethan Bohannon, who was 6-for-12 on faceoffs against the Bulldogs. For Wingate, Wyatt Weiseman went 18-for-25 on faceoffs and tallied a game-high 15 ground balls, with four ground balls for Sean Moran along with a pair of caused turnovers.
Ryan Pickering started in goal for the Pioneers and made five saves in 33 minutes, 40 seconds of playing time, followed by Patrick Thomas who allowed just two goals and had four saves over the final 26 minutes, 20 seconds. Ryan Ahrens played all 60 minutes in goal for the Bulldogs and finished with seven saves.
Tusculum will conclude the regular season next Saturday, April 21 with a 7 p.m. match at Catawba.