LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior attackman Zack Ward scored two goals and freshman goalie Mike Nugent made 11 saves as the Mercer men's lacrosse team dropped a 12-5 decision to Bellarmine on Saturday afternoon at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium.
Mercer's second-straight loss dropped the team to 3-4 on the year while Bellarmine advanced to 6-1.
Bellarmine got on the board first as Karsen Leung netted an even-strength tally less than two minutes into game time, but Mercer junior Cole Branch and freshman Timmy Geran teamed up to even matters midway through the first period. With time dwindling in the quarter, it looked like the squads would settle on an evenly played quarter before Bellarmine's Lance Robinson found the net with 13 seconds left.
Robinson's score opened a 5-0 scoring run for the Knights that saw the hosts take a 6-1 lead into halftime. Mercer scored the first two goals of the second half to close within three, but Bellarmine would register six of the game's next seven goals to preserve the separation.
Nugent's 11 saves came on 23 shots on goal. Sophomore midfielder Justin Evans won 12 of the 20 face-offs he took and picked up 10 ground balls in the loss. Freshman Chris Baxa found the net once in the loss, pushing his goal-scoring streak to five games.
Mercer returns to action at Manhattan on March 20. Game time is scheduled for noon.