Dominican U. Rally Falls One Goal Short vs. Grand Canyon

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - The Dominican University of California men's lacrosse team spotted Grand Canyon University a 5-0 lead on Sunday and it cost the Penguins as they fell 12-11 at Forest Meadows Field.

John Casmedes scored his only two goals of the game to start the 'Lopes (2-7) with a 2-0 lead. GCU held the Penguins (2-6) scoreless early, taking a 4-0 lead after the first quarter. Konner Klein added his second goal of the game to open the second half but Dominican's offense woke up after that.

The Penguins took advantage of GCU penalties, scoring twice on man-up situations and adding a goal in between to cut the deficit to 5-3. Klein notched another GCU goal but Reed Upson answered with a goal of his own. The Penguins pulled within a goal, 7-6, at the two-minute mark before the half but Scott Franks found the cage right before intermission to give the 'Lopes an 8-6 halftime lead.

GCU came out firing again in the second half and scored three straight goals to push the lead to 11-6. Kyle Mitchell found Jim Little twice in the third quarter to send Dominican into the final quarter trailing 11-8. The Penguins made a push late in the fourth quarter scoring twice to pull within 11-10.

Franks fired his team-leading fourth goal around the 2-minute mark to add an insurance goal for the 'Lopes. Little took the ball himself and fired a shot while sliding to pull Dominican within 12-11 with 1:41 to play. Dominican took three shots in the final minute and a half, including a last-second shot on goal by Mitchell that GCU's keeper, Andrew Hunter just managed to knick to preserve the lead for GCU.

Little's tallied five goals, a career high for the freshman, and an assist. Cam Evangelho added a goal and a pair of assists. Zach Rodriguez scored twice and added an assist. Mitchell had one goal and three assists and Upson added one goal and one assist. In addition to a goal, Matt Polizzi led the Penguins with seven groundballs.

Ryan Williams took the loss for Dominican, allowing eight goals in the first half while recording four saves. Sam Darrow played the final 30 minutes and made four saves while allowing four goals.

While the score did not reflect it, the Penguins were dominant in most aspects of the game. Dominican outshot GCU 51-26, picked up31 ground balls compared to GCU's 27, forced eight more turnovers (17-9), won three more faceoffs (14-11), and were more successful clearing the ball (16-15). GCU was penalized eight times and spent 7:30 in the box while Dominican was penalized just twice for 1:30 worth of penalty time.

"They had a total of twenty-six shots. Of our fifty-one total shots, twenty-six missed the cage," said Dominican Head Coach Ned Webster. "You throw on top of that a solid performance by their goalie, and that's why we lost the game."

The Penguins do not have another game until April 10, when they travel to Notre Dame de Namur University for a chance to avenge a Feb. 20 loss to the Argos. Faceoff is slated for 2:00 p.m.


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