Second-Half Rally Comes Up Just Shy for Men's Lacrosse in Season Opening Loss at Wabash, 14-13

Sophomore co-captain Kyle Sanderson winds up to take a shot. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Sophomore co-captain Kyle Sanderson winds up to take a shot. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind.--The Adrian College men's lacrosse team opened its 2019 season with a hard-fought 14-13 non-conference loss at Wabash College on Saturday, but the Bulldogs' recruiting class had an impressive start to the Brett Wetzel coaching era by combining for 11 goals and four assists of offense. 

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Wabash College 14, Adrian College 13

= Location: Fischer Field, Crawfordsville, Ind.; Weather conditions: Cloudy, 47 degrees, Wind SW 12 mph

= Records: Wabash Little Giants 1-1, Adrian Bulldogs 0-1 

TOP 'DAWGS
= Freshmen Travis Fox and Chris French combined for nine goals, with the former leading all scorers with five.

= Classmate Maxwell Leventis shined in the face-off "X" by winning 23 of 30 attempts with a game-high 18 ground balls to help with Adrian's possession.

= Sophomore Hayden Berger had a goal, two assists and four ground balls in his Bulldogs debut.

= Sophomore co-captain Kyle Sanderson tied freshman Matthew Endres with two caused turnovers to go along with two points and seven ground balls.

= Freshman Peyton Gasche added to Adrian's strong game on the ground with eight ground balls, plus a goal and two assists.

THE OPPOSITION
= Tucker Dixon had a game-high six points on four goals and two assists.

= Aaron Elsing led the Wabash defense with a game-best five caused turnovers.

= Max Atkins (W, 1-1) made 21 stops in the cage.

= AJ Shaheen (3g, 1a), Steven Stark (2g, 1a), Collin Brennan (2g, 1a) and Chase Cochran (2g) also had multiple-goal games.

= Max Atkins and Cochran posted a team-best six ground balls apiece while John Rodgers had five.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Adrian trailed 12-6 midway through the third quarter before mounting a serious comeback in which the Bulldogs outscored Wabash 7-2 the rest of the way. French, Fox, Gasche, senior Morgan Caldwell and Sanderson all scored within a span of 4 minutes and 33 seconds to bring AC back 12-11 at the end of the quarter.

= Opening the fourth quarter, Dixon and Shaheen scored unassisted goals for Wabash to break Adrian's five-goal run. Wabash led 14-11.

= The Bulldogs got two back both by French. First, he scored while AC was man-up assisted by Sanderson at the 8:44 mark. Then he had the final tally 51 seconds later on a feed from Gasche.

= Neither team could generate any offense for the final 7:53 of the game. Adrian had five shots down the stretch that were saved by Atkins, including one off Leventis crosse with 11 seconds left to preserve the one-goal victory.

= Adrian dominated possession via face-off wins (23-8) and ground balls (65-41), but committed 31 turnovers. The Bulldogs also led in shots (53-37) and shots on goal (34-22).

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
= The 18 ground balls by Leventis are the second-most in AC single-game history. The record is held by Mitch Barnard who had 19 against Mount St. Joseph on May 08, 2011.

= In that contest, Barnard also set the school mark with 24 face-offs so Leventis' 23 are also second ever in a game by a Bulldog.

= Wabash lost to Calvin, 8-2, in the season opener. Calvin is predicted to finish sixth in the 2019 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association race while Adrian is forecasted for seventh.

= After the first full weekend for MIAA teams, Fox is tied for fourth in goals and freshman goalie Max Bade tops the conference for the fewest goals allowed.

= As a team, the Bulldogs lead the MIAA in face-off percentage at 74.2 percent (23-31), man-up opportunities (15), ground balls (65) and third in caused turnovers (11).

= The 65 ground balls are Adrian's most since a school-record 68 set in 2010 against Southwestern University. The team's 53 shots today also rank 10th in school history.

= The Little Giants are one of five new opponents for the Bulldogs. 

UP NEXT
= Adrian will have its home opener on Tuesday (4 p.m.) against non-conference foe Hanover College on Kapnick Field at Docking Stadium.

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