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Men's Lacrosse Lets Late Lead Slip Away Against Kenyon

Freshman attacker Kyler Byerly (photo courtesy of Brittany Webb)
Freshman attacker Kyler Byerly (photo courtesy of Brittany Webb)

BEREA, Ohio - The Baldwin Wallace University men's lacosse team let its fourth quarter lead slip away, as it was defeated by Kenyon College by a final score 10-9 in George Finnie Stadium.

With the loss, BW (2-2) drops its first ever contest to Kenyon (4-0), diluting its two-game all-time series record to 1-1.

The BW offense was led by freshman attacker Kyler Byerly (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) who scored his first career hat-trick. The Yellow Jackets also got some offensive productivity from senior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC attacker Ben Kubiak (Wooster) and senior attacker Drew Braden (Wooster). Kubiak recorded his second straight three-assist game, while Braden netted two goals and one assist.

Tonight's game began with a firm emphasis on defense as only one goal was scored in its first 10 minutes, courtesy of Kenyon. Despite the chippy style of play and neutralizing gap control, BW was finally able to get in the scoring column at the 4:54 mark, thanks to Byerly's first of three goals on the night. The Yellow Jackets then scored another two goals in the next 1:16 to take a 3-1 lead. The Lords responded just as quickly, potting two goals of their own in a 41-second span to nod up the score. Byerly then picked up his second goal of the period before its conclusion, providing BW with another one-goal advantage.

Keeping pace with the back-and-forth battle, Kenyon netted another two goals to kick off the second quarter and regain its first lead of the game since its opening score. The Yellow Jackets' Byerly then kickstarted a four-goal run for his team, which featured sophomore midfielder Eric Bechtel (Westlake) and freshman defender Neil Randall's (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Palos Verdes) first collegiate goals and Braden's team-leading ninth goal of the year. BW's momentum swing resulted in a 8-5 lead headed to the break.

The third quarter resembled much like the opening 10 minutes of the game, as both teams combined for a mere two goals of offense in the period. With the two adversaries splitting a goal apiece, the Yellow Jackets were able to cling on to their three-goal cushion as they approaced the final quarter.

The Lords needed to scale a high mountain top to get back to within striking distance, but nevertheless they began their ascent. They were able to notch two early goals to make things interesting in the final 12 minutes of regulation. However, BW remained poised defensively and was able to swat away game-tying threats for a nine-minute span. By failing to provide any insurance goals, the Yellow Jackets surrended another pair of Kenyon scores in just 39 seconds, losing their lead and reluctantly falling behind themselves. The Lords' four-goal comeback in the fourth quarter was ultimately BW's downfall, as the Yellow Jackets could not find the equalizer in the last three minutes of the game.

BW returns to action on Tuesday, March 10, when it kicks off its spring break slate of non-conference games in Colorado Springs, Colorado, taking on Haverford (Pa.) College on the neutral site of Colorado College's Washburn Field at 2:00 p.m.