GROVE CITY, Pa. - The Baldwin Wallace University men's lacrosse team narrowly earned its first road win of the season, defeating Grove City (Pa.) College in a non-conference matchup by a final score of 9-8 on Robert E. Thorne Field.
With the win, BW (2-1) remained undefeated against Grove City (1-0) in its all-time series, improving to 2-0 after winning its matchup against the Wolverines in last season's non-conference slate. The victory also marked the third consecutive season that the Yellow Jackets had won their first road contest of the year.
The BW offense was led by senior attackers Ben Kubiak (Wooster) and Drew Braden (Wooster). Kubiak garnered one goal and a career-high four assists for a team-high five points. The senior co-captain also doubled his career-high with an impressive 12 ground balls performance. Meanwhile, Braden netted a team-high four goals in the win.
Yellow Jackets freshman goalkeeper Joe Storner (Lousiville, Ky./St. Xavier) made his second consecutive start, stopping 16 of his 24 total shots faced to improve his record to a perfect 2-0 on the year. Junior goalkeeper Trent Davis (Ottawa Hills) stepped in in relief, having logged 1:54 worth of playing time, and turning aside the lone shot he encountered.
The first quarter featured a consistent back-and-forth tone, with both teams exchanging goals. In the game's highest scoring period with both teams netting three goals apiece, BW got scores from Kubiak, Braden, and sophomore midefielder John Schulte (Grosse Pointe, Mich./South).
The Yellow Jackets stepped up their play with a dominant performance in the second quarter. Braden led off the period's scoring with his second and third goals of the contest, giving BW a two-goal lead. The Yellow Jackets then padded their lead with another pair of goals from freshman attacker Kyler Byerly (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) and junior midfielder Ethan Miller (Delaware/Hayes). The second quarter also showcased a solid defensive display for BW, as they kept Grove City scoreless for the entire 15 minutes.
The Wolverines' drought reached 27:01 before they got back in the scoring column. Grove City potted two goals in a 1:15 span to cut the deficit to two. However, the Yellow Jackets were able to split the damage, netting a goal themselves before the period's end.
BW added an insurance goal, courtesy of Braden's fourth score of the night, to regain its four-goal lead at the 11:36 of the final quarter. Sensing the game beginning to get out of reach, the Wolverines began hacking away at the Yellow Jackets' lead. After scoring a man-up goal at the 7:35 mark, Grove City got its second and third consecutive scores in a span of 11 seconds to set up an interesting one-goal deficit ending. Despite the Wolverines' late momentum wave, BW was able to stave off a dreaded comeback and hold on for the narrow victory.
The Yellow Jackets return to the field on Wednesday, March 4 when they host Kenyon College for a non-conference matchup in George Finnie Stadium at 7:00 p.m.