Gettysburg College turned in its best defensive performance of the season as the 11th-ranked Bullets forced Eastern University into 25 turnovers and held the Eagles scoreless over the final 25 minutes in a 9-5 men’s lacrosse victory Saturday.
In its final non-conference outing before starting Centennial Conference play next week, Gettysburg (6-2) wreaked havoc on Eastern’s (2-5) ability to move the ball. The Eagles managed just 23 shots and turned the ball over 11 times on clear attempts.
The Bullets defense dominated with long-poles Mitch Wykoff, Andrew Horn, and PJ Dettor combining for 16 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. Wykoff, who also scored his sixth goal of the season, and Horn each scooped seven ground balls with the latter finishing with four caused turnovers.
Junior Brian Kolen scored a team-high three goals and played a big role in the ride with four caused turnovers and three ground balls. Senior Blake Gray moved two points away from 100 in his career with two goals Saturday, while sophomore Jack Fletcher dished four assists. Sophomore Kadin Kightlinger also scored two goals.
Freshman goalie Scott MacMillan logged his fifth-straight start with double-figure saves with 10 against Eastern.
Eastern goalie Brett McDonald kept his team in the game with 16 saves. Mark Buannic posted a goal, assist, and three ground balls, while Chris Durning recorded seven ground balls and three caused turnovers for the Eagles.
McDonald kept the Bullets at bay in the opening period, posting four saves in the first five minutes and opening the door for his team to take a 1-0 lead on a goal by Trent Ashton. Junior Michael McCormick tied it up on a feed from fellow Virginian Andrew Garstka just over five minutes into the contest.
The teams exchanged two more goals before Gray hit the back of the net with 17 seconds left in the opening period to give Gettysburg a 3-2 lead.
Over seven minutes ticked off the clock in the second period before the Eagles scored to tie the game. Kightlinger was quick to answer off a feed from Fletcher 52 second later, but McDonald kept Eastern in the hunt with five saves and a caused turnover in the period. The hosts once again knotted the game 4-4 on a man-up goal by Buannic with 3:32 remaining in the half.
Kolen tacked on the final goal of the period with 46 seconds remaining and Gettysburg headed to the break with a 5-4 lead.
MacMillan stepped up with three saves in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but the Eagles once again forced a tie on a goal by Drew Johnson with 10:23 to go in the period. That would be the Eagles’ final tally of the game.
With the defense locking down Eastern, Kolen and Wykoff broke the tie with goals just 13 seconds apart. The junior attackman grabbed a back-side feed from Fletcher for a goal at 3:37 and after scooping the ground ball on the ensuing face-off, Wykoff went straight to cage for his sixth goal of the season and a 7-5 advantage.
Gettysburg held Eastern to just six shots in the final period and MacMillan tacked on four more saves. Kightlinger and Gray each tallied goals to cap the scoring.