Wingate vs. Mercyhurst
March 1, 2008
The Game Story:
Wingate, N.C.----Wingate University senior attack Kyle Costello (Wilmington, N.C.) scored a game-high four goals and added one assist Saturday against number three Mercyhurst College of Pennsylvania. Bulldog fans will remember his final goal of the afternoon for years to come, as Costello’s overtime tally gave the host Bulldogs a 7-6 come-from-behind overtime victory over the Lakers in NCAA Division II men’s lacrosse action at Irwin Belk Stadium and John R. Martin Field. Both the Bulldogs and the Lakers are now 2-1 on the season.

A pre-season All-American, Costello tallied 24 goals and 32 assists during Wingate’s 2007 Deep South Conference championship season. For the visiting Lakers from Mercyhurst, junior midfielder Mike Bartlett (Orchard Park, N.Y.) had two goals and one assist. The Lakers advanced to the NCAA Division II national championship game in 2007.

The Bulldogs battled similar odds last Saturday against then-number three New York Tech. The NYIT Bears held a three-goal advantage at halftime versus the Bulldogs. Wingate trailed Mercyhurst by three goals this Saturday (4-1 at the break).

“We responded well in the second half,” Wingate head coach Sonny Ziegler says. “We had great energy in the (halftime) locker room. The guys knew what we needed to do and they executed. We played a tremendous third period.”

Costello’s opening goal was the only offensive action for either team in the first quarter, but Bartlett started a 4-0 run in the second period. The 4-0 flurry gave the Lakers a 4-1 lead at halftime.

Wingate got a second goal from Costello early in the third quarter, but Mercyhurst quickly followed with a score by sophomore midfielder Tyler Burton (London, Ontario). With five minutes-plus left to play in the third period, the Bulldogs put up three unanswered goals. Wingate’s run tied the contest at 5-5 when junior attack Bryan Egan (Fairfax, Va.) scored on a pass from redshirt junior midfielder Mark Hodsdon (Hilton Head, S.C.).

The Egan-Hodsdon pair teamed up again 28 seconds into the fourth quarter with Hodsdon scoring and Egan picking up the assist to give Wingate its first lead of the afternoon at 6-5. Mercyhurst graduate student (and attack man) Jordan Witt (Orchard Park, N.Y.) tied the game for the final time with 13:18 left in the quarter.

Laker junior midfielder Mike Thon (Penfield, N.Y.) controlled the opening face-off in the overtime period. Following a Mercyhurst timeout, Bartlett ripped a shot from the right wing that was saved by Wingate senior goalie David Suthers (Manassas, Va.). The Bulldogs successfully cleared the ball and maintained possession until Costello ended the game when he put the ball in the net with 1:35 remaining in the overtime period.

The 2007 Wingate team Most Valuable Player, Suthers defended the pipes for the Bulldogs with 14 saves. Laker junior net minder Jason LaShomb (Rush, N.Y.) recorded nine saves.

Wingate scooped up 49 ground balls to Mercyhurst’s 26. The Lakers held the advantage in shots (29-22), but the Bulldogs claimed 12 of 17 face-offs with senior midfielder Bob Chinn (Mooresville, N.C.) winning 11 of 15.

The Wingate Bulldogs begin their 2008 Deep South Conference slate at Rollins (Fla.) College Wednesday at 4 p.m. Mercyhurst will travel to upstate New York for a re-match of the 2007 NCAA Division II National Championship contest on Saturday, March 8. The Lakers will battle Le Moyne College Saturday at 1 p.m.