BETHANY, W. Va. – Despite a 6-1 run spanning 13 minutes between the third and fourth quarter, the Franciscan men's lacrosse team lost a narrow 15-13 decision to Bethany (W. Va.) in the inaugural Blue Bridge Rivalry, Wednesday evening.
With just under nine minutes to play in the third quarter, junior Dan McCartney scored a pair of unassisted goals within 33 seconds of each other to kick of the Baron run. Sophomore T.M. Thomas cut the Bethany lead down to 12-9 with his second goal of the game before the Bison found the back of the net for the fourth time in the quarter. Senior captain Mike Rosaschi capped the third quarter scoring with 59 seconds to play as he scored off a pass from McCartney to keep the Barons within three goals, 13-10, going into the fourth quarter.
Franciscan held offensive possession for much of the beginning of the final quarter and freshman William Muraski got on the board with his only goal of the game off a pass from Rosaschi to get the Barons to within two, 13-11, with 13:25 to play. Senior Jonas McCaig capped the Baron run that got Franciscan to within just one goal with an unassisted goal as he blew past a Bison defender around the back of the cage and shot over the goalie's shoulder. With 3:39 to play, the Bison found themselves up a man and capitalized on the opportunity to put Bethany back up by two, 14-12. Tristan Shaffer capped Bethany's scoring with 2:56 to play to give the hosts a 15-12 lead. Franciscan got an extra-man opportunity with 2:11 to play in the quarter and head coach Pete Rosaschi called a timeout to set up his offense. Thomas got off a quick shot after play resumed but it went just wide. The Barons maintained possession and Rosaschi got the ball back in the stick of Thomas for his third goal of the game with 1:42 left and got Franciscan back within two goals again.
Bethany won the ensuing faceoff but turned the ball over and Franciscan was able to get off four shots in the final 1:23 but were unable to find the back of the net and the final horn sounded with Bethany claiming the first Blue Bridge Rivalry win, 15-13.
After a tight first 10 minutes of the first quarter, Bethany pushed its lead to 5-2 before McCartney closed out the first quarter with his second goal of the game to cut the lead to 5-3. Bethany took its largest lead of the first half with a 3-0 run in the second quarter to push its lead to 8-3 with 9:01 to play before halftime. Thomas and McCartney went back-to-back with goals to get within three again and the two teams traded goals in the final five minutes as Bethany led 9-6 at the break.
The Bison opened the third quarter with a 3-0 run to take their largest lead of the contest, 12-6, before the Baron 6-1 run to keep the game close and set up the tense final quarter.
McCartney led the Barons with five goals and two assists while picking up six ground balls. Thomas finished with three goals and an assist while McCaig scored twice and handed out two assists. Freshman Jerome Harkins led the Baron defense with eight groundballs and two caused turnovers while Muraski scored once, picked up four ground balls, and caused five turnovers.
Freshman Grant McKeown made 12 saves in the cage for Franciscan.
The Barons look to get back in the winning column on Saturday as they travel to Adrian for a 1:00 pm contest.