St. Mary's City, Md. – Sophomore midfielder Will Lerch (Lothian, Md./Calverton) notched the game-winning goal with under eight minutes left in regulation as the St. Mary's College of Maryland men's lacrosse team staved off a Frostburg State University rally for the 10-9 Capital Athletic Conference win Saturday afternoon.
Lerch picked up the unassisted goal at 7:47 to pull St. Mary's ahead by three goals but junior midfielder Andy Luhmann (Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods) and sophomore midfielder Chris Rios (Katonah, N.Y./Somers) brought Frostburg State (6-4, 0-2 CAC) within one with 42 seconds to go.
Frostburg State claimed the ensuing face-off as junior Billy Lark (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) scooped up the ground ball. FSU then turned the ball over but St. Mary's handed it right back with a turnover of its own. After the Bobcats finally got the ball in their offensive end, junior midfielder Lucas Flaig's (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) shot went wide as time expired.
Lerch finished the afternoon with three goals and an assist while junior midfielder Ben Love (Owings Mills, Md./McDonogh) chipped in a hat trick. Sophomore attackman Matt Tarrant (Mount Airy, Md./Urbana) scored twice while senior attackman Patrick Mull (Fallston, Md./Fallston) dished out two assists.
St. Mary's (6-4, 2-0 CAC) outshot the Bobcats, 49-22, while outhustling the visitors to a 44-31 ground ball margin. The Seahawk defense forced Frostburg State into 29 turnovers and killed four out of five extra-man opportunities.
Frostburg State (6-4, 0-2 CAC) struck first at 7:55 but Tarrant and first-year attackman Conor Jordan (Rockville, Md./Rockville) gave the Seahawks a 2-1 lead after the first period. Love and Lerch then netted the first two goals of the second quarter for a 4-1 advantage at 11:30 before the Bobcats responded with three straight to head into the intermission even with St. Mary's, 4-4.
The Bobcats regained their second lead of the game with scores by Flaig and Rios, posting a 6-4 margin at 10:32. St. Mary's reclaimed the lead by outscoring FSU, 4-1, in the final 8:08 of the third period. Tarrant and Lerch then stretched the lead to 10-7 with goals four minutes apart to start the final stanza.
Senior captain Albert Mitchell (Shrewsbury, Mass./Saint John's) won 12 face-offs and scooped up seven ground balls while senior defenseman Justin Harty (Medford Lakes, N.J./Camden Catholic) caused a career-best seven turnovers and picking up six loose balls.
Senior Scott Marsh (Crofton, Md./South River) made 10 stops with two ground balls while junior Tyler Haines (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) notched 16 saves, including eight in the first period, in the FSU loss.
The Seahawks will be back in action next Wednesday, April 3 when St. Mary's welcomes Goucher College to Seahawk Stadium for a non-conference game at 4:00 pm.
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