NEW CONCORD – The Franciscan men's lacrosse team used a 7-2 second quarter to propel the Barons to a 16-11 win over Muskingum, snapping a four-game losing streak, Wednesday evening.
After a tightly contested first quarter, the Baron offense proved to be too much for the Muskingum defense and rattled off five-straight goals to end the second. After Zach Kern tied the game at 4-4 with 10:18 to play, senior Jonas McCaig gave the Barons the lead for good with his first goal of the game off a pass from junior Dan McCartney. Franciscan won the ensuing faceoff and freshman Jerome Harkins picked up the ground ball but the two teams traded two turnovers before Franciscan maintained control. Harkins picked another ground ball for FUS and helped to settle the Baron offense. McCartney gave Franciscan a 6-4 lead with 7:14 to play as he found an empty lane about 10 yards out from the cage and fired a shot over the goalie's shoulder. Sophomore T.M. Thomas then sandwiched a pair of goals around another McCartney strike to give Franciscan a 9-4 lead going into halftime.
Franciscan won the opening faceoff of the third quarter and immediately set up their offense. Franciscan good ball movement around the cage to eat almost a full minute off of the clock until Thomas hit the back of the net off a pass from senior Mike Rosaschi to give Franciscan a 10-4 lead and seemingly control of the game. After winning the next faceoff, Franciscan got three shots off but couldn't get past the Muskie goalie. Muskingum attempted a clear off its last save but Franciscan forced a turnover and senior Leo Munday picked up the ground ball to give the Barons another possession. McCaig made the most of the possession and scored his second of the game to push the FUS lead to 11-4. Rosaschi and McCartney scored back-to-back goals, each off passes from Thomas to give Franciscan a 14-4 lead and cap a 9-0 run for the Barons.
Muskingum halted the Baron run with back-to-back goals over 1:24 of action to cut the lead back to 13-6. McCartney answered the Muskie goals with his fifth goal of the game with 3:20 left in the third. Muskingum scored with 29 seconds left in the third and used a 3-0 run, extending into the fourth, to pull to within five, 14-9, with 12:38 to play in regulation.
McCartney's sixth of the game pushed the Franciscan lead back to 15-9 with 9:16 to play. The Muskies didn't back down, however, and Ian McGougan answered McCartney's goal to get back to within five, 15-10, with 3:45 to play.
Following the Muskingum goal, the Barons were called for a slashing penalty and were a man down on the face off. The Barons won the faceoff and Rosaschi picked up the ground ball to give Franciscan an offensive possession. Rosaschi handed the ball off to McCaig who scored just 18 seconds into the penalty to give Franciscan the 16-10 advantage. Franciscan once and won the faceoff but McCartney's shot was saved and the Muskies quickly cleared the ball and Kern scored the final goal of the game with 3:02 to play.
Franciscan got the final two shots off as McCartney went wide and hit the post but the score held at 16-11 in favor of Franciscan.
McCartney led the Barons with six goals and an assist while McCaig posted three goals and handed out five assists.
Harkins led the defense with eight ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers while Muraski picked up six ground balls and caused two turnovers. Freshman Grant McKeown made 11 stops in goal for Franciscan.
The Barons wrap up their regular season next Wednesday as they travel to La Roche for a 4:00 pm contest.