NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University men's lacrosse team secured its first ever Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory on Saturday, defeating Felician, 12-8, at the WU Athletics Complex.
Both the Wildcats (3-7, 1-2 CACC) and the Golden Falcons (0-10, 0-3 CACC) are in its first year as a program.
The Wildcats rode a strong first half to the victory, outscoring the Golden Falcons, 3-1, in both the first and second quarters to take a 6-2 lead into the halftime break. Felician scored first in each quarter, but the Wildcats controlled the rest of the quarter, scoring the final three goals of each.
The Golden Falcons closed the gap to two goals on multiple occasions in the second half, but the Wildcats would never let them get any closer, keeping the separation throughout for the victory.
Felician scored the first two goals of the third to get to with 6-4, but Kyle Leary scored his first career goal as a Wildcat on the odd-man break, keeping the Wildcats up by three goals.
Felician again scored first in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats answered every visitor goal with a goal of their own, as the teams split the first six goals of the game. Chris Smith finally scored to give the Wildcats two in a row in the fourth, and put the home team up, 11-7, with 2:32 left in regulation.
The Wildcats used three different scorers in the first quarter, as Smith, John Novak, and Jake Gies put the Wildcats up 3-1. Smith was the first Wildcat goal scorer in the second before Dylan McCleaft scored back-to-back goals to take a 6-2 lead at the half. Austin Wood got in on the scoring action in the fourth, making it six goal scorers for the Wildcats in the game.
Smith led the Wildcats with five goals while adding two assists for a team high seven points. McCleaft also finished with a hat trick, scoring three goals and adding an assist. Gies went 11-of-14 in the face-off circle, leading the team with eight ground balls as well. Kyle Leary scooped up six ground balls while also causing two turnovers. Senior Michael Adams led the team with three caused turnovers, adding six ground balls himself.
The Wildcats have two games left in the regular season with a push for the postseason beginning today. The Wildcats head to Dominican on Tuesday where the Chargers are also 1-2 in CACC play. The opening face-off is set for 4:00 p.m. at the Torne Valley Sports Complex.