MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – Six different Mercer players found the net and sophomore Mike Nugent made 16 saves to power the men's lacrosse team to an 8-3 win over VMI in Atlantic Sun Conference play at Mercer University Stadium Saturday.
Mercer improved to 3-3 (2-0 A-Sun) on the season and remained unbeaten at home this year with the win, while VMI dropped to 1-7 (0-2 A-Sun) with the loss.
Nugent allowed just three goals on 30 VMI shots while pairing his 16 stops with two ground balls. The sophomore improved his personal record to 3-3 on the year while his counterpart Evan Windisch allowed all eight Mercer goals and fell to 1-7.
Sophomore Chris Baxa tallied a team-high three points on two goals and an assist, while senior Zack Ward also had a multi-goal performance with two scores. Senior Cole Branch, junior Timmy Geran, senior Eoin Collins and sophomore Anssi Kaisalmi each scored one goal on Saturday.
After the start of the game was delayed seven hours due to a rash of food poisoning that broke out among the VMI travel party, Mercer jumped all over the Keydets with a pair of scores in the opening 2:24 of play.
VMI stopped the bleeding momentarily with a goal at the 12:12 mark of the first quarter, but Mercer retaliated with three-straight goals and ultimately went ahead 6-2 before halftime.
Geran and Branch each scored goals in the third quarter to put Mercer ahead by six, and VMI could only muster one tally in the final period before the game's conclusion.
Mercer was a perfect 20-for-20 in clear attempts and went 2-for-3 in extra-man opportunities. The Bears outshot the Keydets 34-30 in the winning effort.
Junior faceoff specialist Justin Evans won 6-of-15 faceoffs and totaled three ground balls in the win. Junior Matt Lucas joined him for the team lead in ground balls, with three to his credit.
The Bears return to action in the start of a five-game road swing at High Point on March 22. Game time against the Panthers is scheduled for 1 p.m.