Mount Olive, N.C. – North Greenville men’s lacrosse suffered another heartbreaking loss on Saturday as the number 13-ranked Mount Olive Trojans narrowly escaped with a 5-4 overtime win over the Crusaders.
The loss to Mount Olive is the fifth of the season for NGU, and the fifth of the season to an opponent ranked in the top-25 of Division-II. What’s more, the Crusaders have lost four of those five contests by two points or less, including three one point defeats. Saturday’s slip-up drops NGU to 1-1 in Conference Carolinas play.
The Crusaders got off to a fast start as Hunter Burgett and Blake Thompson scored in the opening frame to take a 2-0 lead. Mount Olive countered with its first of the game to cut the lead to 2-1. North Greenville, which fired 18-shots on goal during Saturday’s game, got one more in the first period when Jake Foster hooked up with Alex Proly to give NGU a 3-1 lead.
The Crusaders led by two points for the two minutes before one more goal from Mount Olive made the score 3-2 to end the first. UMO scored twice more in the second quarter to take a 4-3 lead into halftime. North Greenville had several chances to even the score before the first half buzzer but failed to capitalize.
Neither team would give ground in what would turn out to be the lowest scoring half of the season for either team. A nearly 25-minute scoring drought would finally end with eight minutes remaining in regulation when Ethan Landrith deposited the only goal of the second half to even the tally 4-4.
NGU’s offense continued to pressure the UMO defense, getting off four shots in the final seven minutes of the game, but Mount Olive goalie Will Urban kept the Crusaders from causing any more damage. Braeden Dixon also came up with a save for North Greenville in the final minutes of the fourth to preserve the tie as the game went into overtime.
The overtime period would be brief s the Trojans connected with the fifth goal of the game a little more than a minute into the game. Luke Dalman scored for the Trojans with an assist from Thatcher Clark to secure the win for UMO.
Four different players scored for the Crusaders on Saturday. Logan Bryant led the team with five groundballs while Jaren Szfranski and Seaver Bransfield both had three. Dixon had a solid day in the cage for NGU with 13-saves on the day.
The Crusaders fall to 5-5 on the season and 1-1 in league play. NGU will host Chowan University on April 1st at 1pm.