MARS HILL, N.C. (February 10, 2017) – The No. 20 Rollins men’s lacrosse team opened up its 2017 campaign on a high note, defeating Mars Hill for the first time in program history with a 14-9 win at the Ammons Family Athletic Center and Meares Stadium on Friday afternoon.
The win opens up the Tars highly anticipated 10th season with a record of 1-0, while the Lions open up their slate with a mark of 0-1.
Sophomore Greg Taicher led the team in points on the afternoon, tallying one goal and a game high four assists for the Tars to notch a new career high in points and assists in a game. Justin Diamond led the team in goals scored, earning a hat trick in the first game of his senior season. Jack Vonarb and Clay Phillips tallied two goals apiece, with Phillips notching a team second-best four points with two assists, and Vonarb chipping in an assist of his own for three points on the day. Blake Buell made his collegiate debut count, tallying a goal and an assist for two points, which was matched by Nicholas Schultz. Trey LaPorta, Andrew Matthews, Connor Ashton, and Carson Buell each scored on goal.
Landon Salie earned the win in his collegiate debut, making five saves on 20 shots faced. His counterpart for the Lions, Ryan Kearney, earned 13 saves as he faced 38 shots from the Tars.
The Lions were led by Connor Fernandes and Alex Lipsky with three goals each. Fernandes added an assist for a team high four points. Hunter Maggs earned two goals, followed by Jim Garrett with one. Dishing out assists were Dima Ferreira and Nathan Stewart with two each, followed by Josh Bryers with one.
- Trey LaPorta | 1 goal | 6 ground balls | 20-of-23 on faceoffs
- Justin Diamond | 3 goals | 2 ground balls
- Greg Taicher | 1 goal | 4 assists | 1 ground ball
- Andrew Matthews | 1 goal | 4 ground balls | 1 caused turnover
- Jack Vonarb | 2 goals | 1 assist | 1 ground ball
- Austin Jackson | 2 caused turnovers
- Clay Phillips | 2 goals | 2 assists | 1 ground ball | 1 caused turnover
- Dima Ferreira | 2 assists | 1 ground ball | 1 caused turnover
- Connor Fernandes | 3 goals | 1 assist
- Nathan Stewart | 2 assists | 4 ground balls
- Kyle Dozzi | 3 ground balls | 2 caused turnovers
- Ryan Kearney | 9 ground balls | 13 saves
- Alex Lipsky | 3 goals | 2 ground balls
- Hunter Maggs | 2 goals | 1 ground ball
HIGHLIGHTS AND QUARTER-BY-QUARTER ANALYSIS
First Quarter l Mars Hill opened up the scoring with a goal by Garrett at the 13:22 mark, but the Tars answered back with two of their own to take a 2-1 lead with 9:40 left in the period. Mars Hill knotted the score at 2-2 with 8:05 to play, but the Tars closed out the first quarter with two straight to close out the period with a 4-2 lead with help from two assists by Taicher.
Second Quarter l Rollins notched two more to pull ahead, 6-2, but the Lions broke the streak at the 10:12 mark. The remainder of the period was quiet, with a lone goal by Matthews at the 8:43 mark. At the end of the half, Rollins held onto a 7-3 lead thanks to seven different players finding the back of the net.
Third Quarter l Vonarb opened the second half with a goal at the 13:15 mark, giving the Tars an 8-3 advantage, but Mars Hill rattled off three straight to pull to within two, 8-6, with 10:51 to go in the quarter. Both teams traded blows to set the score at 9-7 in favor of the Tars with 6:59 to go in the quarter, but the Tars sealed the deal on the period with three straight in less than a minute to close out the third stanza with a 12-7 advantage.
Fourth Quarter l Rollins netted the first two of the quarter, pulling ahead by as much as seven, 14-7, with 8:46 to play. Mars Hill closed out the game with two goals of their own, pulling to within five for the final score of 14-9.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Shots: Rollins 38 | 20 Mars Hill
- Ground Balls: Rollins 40 | 27 Mars Hill
- Face-offs Won: Rollins 24 | 3 Mars Hill
- Saves: Rollins 5 | 13 Mars Hill
- Caused Turnovers: Rollins 8 | 10 Mars Hill
- Taicher earned a new career high in points and assists in a game with five points and four assists.
- Clay Phillips matched a Rollins career high in points with his two goals and two assists. Phillips tallied two goals and two assists in his first season with the Tars in the Sunshine State Conference Semifinal game against Saint Leo on April 29, 2016.
- Rollins and Mars Hill matched up for the seventh time in program history on Friday afternoon. The Tars’ victory this afternoon marked the first time in program history Rollins has defeated Mars Hill, with the Lions holding onto the series advantage over the Tars, 6-1.
- Rollins has won its last four season openers and 5-5 overall against opponents in their season-opening games.
- The last time the Tars matched up with the Lions in their season opener, Mars Hill earned an 11-5 victory over Rollins on their home turf.
- Head Coach Chris Lewis is in his second season as Head Coach of the men’s lacrosse team coming of the most successful season in the Program’s history. In his first official season as head coach, Lewis compiled a record of 10-6.
NEXT UP FOR THE TARS
Rollins returns to action on Sunday, February 12, when they travel to Young Harris, Ga. to take on the Mountain Lions of Young Harris College. Game time is set for noon, with links to live coverage available on RollinsSports.com.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins men’s lacrosse team, fans can visit RollinsSports.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest #TARnation news by following Rollins Sports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.