Battle of Former League Foes Goes to Concordia, 11-10

Battle of Former League Foes Goes to Concordia, 11-10

ADRIAN, Mich. – The men's lacrosse team exited the Midwest Lacrosse Conference after the 2012 season in favor of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association beginning in 2013. On Wednesday, the Bulldogs entertained Concordia (Wis.) University in an excellent matchup against a former league foe with the visiting Falcons scoring late in an 11-10 win at Docking Stadium.

Concordia made the most of their limited possession time in the first half by building a 4-1 lead with 10:27 left in the second quarter. Adrian scored the first goal as Tom Thielman took matters into his own hands with an unassisted goal at 4:53 of the first quarter. CUW then started to play stout defense and capitalize on offense. Matt Larsen scored at 2:25 with an assist from Danny Dahms to end a low-scoring first.

Dahms scored consecutive goals to start the second and Derek Brueske added another goal to put Adrian in a three-goal hole with 10:27 left in the opening half. Mitch Burgin cut the lead to 4-2 at 6:29 but Sam Wladyka increased the lead back to three goals at 5:22 from Colin Raley. Adrian and Concordia each had 12 shots in the first half.

Adrian (4-2) came out firing in the third quarter and quickly erased their three-goal deficit. The Bulldogs scored the first four goals of the period before a timeout by the Falcons. Burgin scored a man-up goal followed by another one by Eric Fannell just 16 seconds later to make it 5-4. Thielman tied the game at 5-5 at the 8:41 mark and then Burgin scored his third of the game and 14th of the season at 8:10.

Dahms scored back-to-back goals giving him four for the game and 20 on the season with 5:50 left in the third. Dahms scored his fourth goal on a man-up opportunity. Thielman's third goal of the game at 5:28 came on a great rush move to the cage for his 11th of the season.

The final 15 minutes were packed with action as the Falcons scored twice to take a 9-7 lead. Dahms scored a man-up goal at 8:29 to give CUW a two-goal cushion. Brendan Harvey scored his fourth of the season from the right wing at 7:56 to cut the lead to 9-8. Dahms notched his sixth goal of the game at 6:00 leaving Adrian to make a push towards coming back late in the game. Fannell from Burgin at 4:10 got them within one and Burgin unassisted at 1:52 tie it up at 10-10. Burgin rushed the net from the left wing after a Concordia defender broke his crosse attempting to prevent Burgin's rush towards the net.

Peter Morton played the role of unlikely hero with the game-winning goal with 1:12 left. He took a shot from the left wing while being pressured as the ball bounced off the turf and past the goal line. The Bulldogs had one final chance with 12 seconds left after a timeout. Thielman had his long-distance shot straight on deflected over the goal and the Falcons gained possession with five seconds and tossed the ball downfield to run out the clock.

Adrian had a dominant 18-of-25 edge in face-offs and also collected 34 ground balls compared to 17 for CUW. Both teams were 2-for-5 in extra-man chances with Adrian getting those chances all in the second half. Thomas Mueller improved to 2-0 in net making 15 saves in a gritty effort. Kevin Lerg also had a solid game in net making seven saves for the Bulldogs. Drake Dailey-Chwalibog and Zach Kozlowski each had eight ground balls. Lido Aldini caused three turnovers and had five ground balls.