BEREA, Ohio - In its home and season opener, the Baldwin Wallace University men's lacrosse team fell to Geneseo (N.Y.) University in a non-conference matchup by a final score of 13-9 on Tressel Field in George Finnie Stadium.
With the defeat, BW (0-1) loses its first season-opener since 2017. Geneseo (1-0) also avenged its lone historical contest against the Yellow Jackets, which featured a 13-10 victory for BW last season, as the Knights improved to 1-1 in its all-time series.
The BW offense was led by three multi-goal scorers. Junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC midfielder Nick Nanosky (Medina) and fellow junior midfielder Ethan Miller (Delaware/Hayes) chipped in with two goals and an assist apiece. Meanwhle, senior attacker Drew Braden (Wooster) also contributed with two goals in the defeat.
Junior goalkeeper Trent Davis (Ottawa Hlls) got the start for the Yellow Jackets and made two saves on 13 shots faced, suffering his first loss of the season. Freshman netminder Joe Storner (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier) made his first collegiate appearance between the pipes for BW as he stepped in at halftime. The rookie had a terrific coming-out party, stopping nine of 11 shots faced in relief.
Possibly experiencing some season-debut jitters, BW surrendered two goals in game's first 1:36 of play. However, in nearly the same amount of time, the Yellow Jackets were able to respond with two goals of their own immediately thereafter. Freshman attacker Kyler Byler (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) scored his first ever collegiate goal and BW's first of the campaign, with an assist credited to Miller, while Nanosky followed suit with a goal of his own. Sensing an early momentum swing, Geneseo stormed back with a 4-1 goal run to end the first quarter.
The Knights' three-goal cushion heading into the second quarter ballooned to seven, as they proceeded to score the first four goals of the frame. Geneseo's 8-1 overall run was halted by freshman midfielder Jake Branton (Marysville), who scored his first collegiate goal at the 8:10 mark of the second period. The two teams exchanged a goal apiece prior to the half's end, as the Knights held a six-goal lead headed to the break.
BW's Nanosky and Miller opened the scoring in the third quarter with both of their second goals of the afternoon, cutting the deficit to four. The third period transpired into a low offensive affair, as Geneseo added an insurance goal at the 6:12 mark to wrap up the quarter's scoring. The third frame was also highlighted by a stellar performance from Yellow Jackets goalkeeper Storner, who came in relief at halftime and made multiple impressive saves to keep the game within striking distance for his team.
After a Knights goal at the 10:10 mark of the fourth quarter to increase their lead to six, BW initiated a late surge to attempt a comeback. First, the Yellow Jackets' leading goal scorer from a year ago, Ben Kubiak (Wooster) netted his first of the season at the 7:38 mark of the period. The referees then issued a three-minute illegal stick infraction on Geneseo, and BW was able to capitalize with Braden's second of the afternoon, a rather gorgeous behind-the-back no-look score, to cut the lead to four. However, that was all the Yellow Jackets could muster, as the clock expired with the Knights reluctant to relinquish its lead.
BW returns to the field on Wednesday, February 26 when they host a non-conference matchup against Allegheny (Pa.) College in George Finnie Stadium at 7:00 p.m.