Mercer men's lacrosse opens season with win

Senior Zack Ward and sophomore Chris Baxa each registered six points and Mercer scored nine second half goals to overpower Boston University 17-6 in the men's lacrosse team's 2014 season opener at Mercer University Stadium on Saturday.

Mercer (1-0) won its home opener for the second-straight season under head coach Kyle Hannan, while BU lost its inaugural Division I contest.

Mercer held a slim 4-3 lead in the second quarter before rallying for four goals in the final 4:35 of the half to take a five-goal lead into halftime. Ward and Baxa each scored two goals during the stretch while junior Timmy Geran, sophomore JT Del Tufo and senior Harry Baker all picked up assists.

Ward found the net again just 2:02 into the second half, this time aided by an assist from senior Wilton McKown. The tally marked the start of a dominant third quarter for Mercer, as the Bears outscored the Terriers 4-1 during the period on an 8-5 shot advantage.

The Bears continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter, notching five goals in the final period on their way to the highest scoring total for the team since scoring 17 in a win over Carthage on March 19, 2011.

Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Nugent made 10 saves while facing 16 shots on goal to book the fifth win of his career between the pipes. Nugent's counterpart – BU freshmen Christian Carson-Banister – collected five saves and allowed 15 goals in the losing effort.

Freshmen James Tautkus and Chris Rahill also tallied multi-goal performances while junior Eric Yoggy, Geran and senior Eoin Collins each found the net once on Saturday.

Mercer returns to non-conference play on Feb. 14 at Michigan. Game time against the Wolverines is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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