No. 1 Mercyhurst Shuts Down the Penguins to Win 4th Straight

ERIE, Pa. - Sophomores Kevin Powers and Ian Nickel scored goals and Brock Beall contributed an assist, yet Dominican (CA) (2-4) couldn't recover from a 5-0 first period hole and 8-0 halftime deficit and lost 13-2 to Mercyhurst, top-ranked in NCAA Division II and a Final Four team a year ago.

Mercyhurst (4-0) has a 44-4 record in the past four years, including a national championship in 2011. It was the Lakers' 24th consecutive regular-season victory and 15th in a row at home.

"Every loss is a lesson," said head coach Ned Webster, who was not pleased with his team's discipline. "When you are preparing for the No. 1 team in the country and you feel like you have a good game plan and you scouted them well and you think you know what they're going to do and they still do it, it's a credit to their discipline and their patience.

"It was a good lesson for our young guys. It was their juniors and seniors against our freshmen and sophomores. It was pause to step back and remember what we saw."

Goalkeepers Sean Donohue and Nick Dellipizzi combined for 10 saves but the home team outshot the Penguins 37-20 and recorded a 20-10 advantage in shots on goal, led by 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior attackman Jake McAndrew. He had a hat trick on five shots.

"I was very impressed with their team on and off the field," Webster said. "It was refreshing to play a team that displayed so much professionalism ... It was a good example for our program and our young guys to see that level that we aspire to be."

The Penguins come home from a challenging four-game, nine-day road trip where they also face No. 10 Pfeiffer University, plus Mars Hills College that won four of its first five games this season.

Dominican's schedule doesn't get any easier as the Penguins return to play Colorado Mesa University on Kennelly Field in the Allen Athletics Complex on Saturday, March 23, at 1:00 p.m. CMU tied Dominican for first place in the Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association last season, yet won the tie breaker to claim the WILA title.

Against Mercyhurst, the Penguins didn't get on the scoreboard until Powers' unassisted goal with 13:23 left in the third period. That followed a shot by teammate Dalton Copeland, who played despite a gash on his head that needed 14 stitches to close after the Pfeiffer game on Saturday. Dominican also played without sophomore Jake Bernstein, one of its top scorers who was injured on the first game of the road trip on March 5.

The Penguins netted their only other goal against the Lakers with 1:57 to go on the game when Beall set up Nickel. The Lakers had nine assists in the non-conference contest, the first ever between the two schools 2,500 miles apart.

"We didn't shoot well and they did," Webster said. "Once we went down early in the game, we started to rush things ... I learned a lot as a coach today about how to create that discipline. We're getting better."


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