MURFREESBORO, N.C. - - The Wilmington University men's lacrosse team couldn't dig itself out of an early hole on Wednesday, as Chowan held off a late charging Wildcat team, 10-6, in nonconference action on Vincent Field.
Chowan (3-3) jumped out to a 5-0 lead before the Wildcats (0-3) were able to get on the board. The Wildcats put 13 shots on the board in the fourth quarter alone, and was aided by 12 saves from Noah Given, but could only find the back of the net twice despite the heavy pressure.
The Wildcats' first two shots of the afternoon were saved by Hawks goalkeeper DJ Walker, and the Hawks responded with a clear and a shot. Given got a hold of the first attempt, but the Hawks picked up the rebound and put in the second attempt for the game's first goal with 10:05 left in the first quarter.
Chowan added another first quarter goal with 7:14 showing on the clock to lead 2-0 after the first quarter. Chowan led the first quarter in shots, 12-7, with the Hawks' Walker making six saves to Given's five saves.
The Hawks scored the next three goals as well, putting one past Given at the 14:30 mark, 9:25 mark, and 5:56 mark of the second quarter to lead 5-0.
Dylan McCleaft finally put the Wildcats on the board in the second quarter, scoring his third goal of the year with 5:22 left. The Hawks scored off the ensuing face-off, but the Wildcats had the final say of the half, as John Novak scored from Cory Melvin, executing out of a timeout as time expired. It was Novak's first goal of the season.
Josh Burley cut the Wildcat deficit to just 6-3 with the first goal of the third quarter, turning a Hawk failed clear into his fifth goal of the season 1:02 into the third quarter.
Chowan answered with back-to-back goals to regain an 8-3 lead before Cory Melvin took advantage of a man-up situation to score his sixth of the year with 6:08 to play in the quarter. But once again, the Hawks didn't allow the Wildcats to carry the momentum, scoring the final goal of the quarter to lead 9-4.
The Hawks extended the lead out to 10-4 just 13 seconds into the fourth quarter, before the Wildcats tried a late game comeback. Austin Wood scored his first career goal with 11:40 left and had the next three shots in the game. But they couldn't find the back of the net again until 6:29 left, as Jon Howell assisted on a Jake Gies goal.
Burley won the ensuing face-off, but the next three Wildcat shots stayed out of the net and the visitors couldn't score again.
Burley lef the Wildcats with 10 shots while Jyle Ruff led the team with six ground balls. McCleaft also led the team with four caused turnovers.
The Wildcats have a week off before returning to action next Wednesday afternoon at St. Thomas Aquinas. The opening face-off is slated for 3:00 p.m. in Sparkill, New York.