Mercer Drops Close Decision at Presbyterian

CLINTON, S.C. - Freshman Cole Branch scored a team single game record six goals, but it was not enough as Mercer's men's lacrosse lost a road game at Presbyterian College, 14-11. The setback dropped the Bears to 1-11 in their inaugural season.

"I was very pleased with how hard we fought back," MU head coach Jason Childs said. "It's not easy when you dig yourself a 9-3 hole, to come back and tie the game at 10. I was ecstatic with the heart we showed in that regard.

"[Presbyterian] came out with a lot of emotion today and their kids played very hard."

Playing the final home game in program history (PC announced earlier in the season that it was discontinuing the sport), the hosts built a 3-1 lead after one quarter and led 8-3 at the half.

The Blue Hose made it 9-3 within the first minute of the third period and it looked like MU might be in for a long afternoon. However, the Bears were not ready to hibernate just yet.

Mercer would out-score PC the rest of the period to knot matters at 10-10. Branch scored three of his six tallies in the third period, alone. Colin McKay notched both of his goals in that same stanza, while Eoin Collins and Colton Mattei contributed a goal apiece as MU crept back into the game.

A blazing start to the fourth quarter all but sealed MU's fate when the Blue Hose scored four unanswered goals in the first 6:31 of the period. Branch closed the scoring with just under four minutes left to play for the 14-11 final score.

Jake Polo had two assists in the loss, and Harry Baker booked one helper for the Bears. MU goalkeeper Justin Bateman had nine saves.


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