Gettysburg vs. Rit
March 2, 2003
The Game Story:
LEXINGTON, Va. - Nick Purkat (Annandale, VA/W.T. Woodson) and Chase Stewart (Downingtown, PA/Downingtown), both new additions to the Gettysburg starting attack, combined for six goals and three assists to lead the second-ranked Bullets past No. 15 RIT 11-5 in non-conference men's lacrosse action on Sunday.

Purkat scored three times to key a 7-1 second-half run that helped Gettysburg (1-0) win its sixth consecutive season opener. Stewart also netted a hat trick in his first collegiate start.

Tim McGinnis (Ellicott City, MD/Loyola Blakefield), the 2002 Division III Goalie of the Year, picked up where he left off last season, making 12 saves to keep the Tigers (0-1) at bay before the Bullets' second-half eruption.

Chris Copeland and David Thering each scored twice for RIT while Ryan Neward added a goal and an assist. Despite six penalties and nine turnovers in the first half, Gettysburg managed to take a 4-3 lead into halftime.

Matt Twombly (New Canaan, CT/New Canaan), who sat out the 2002 season, opened the scoring with an unassisted drive through traffic just 1 minute, 41 seconds into the game. Twombly staked the Bullets to a 2-0 advantage by finishing another solo effort at the 6:55 mark of the first quarter.

RIT battled back to tie the game at 2 behind the first two collegiate goals from Thering. The freshman attackman scored off a feed from Tony Green just one minute after Twombly's second goal, then found the net again off a feed from Neward with 2:30 left in the quarter.

John O'Bannon (Marshall, VA/Highland School) gave Gettysburg a 3-2 lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter, taking a behind-the-net feed from Purkat and ripping a shot past Tiger netminder Jon Sinclair.

Neward scored off a long solo run to knot the game at 3 with 11:46 to play before halftime. Stewart restored the Bullets' one-goal lead with his first collegiate goal off another feed from Purkat at the 10:12 mark. McGinnis flashed his 2002 form with a point-blank save on Dave Demuth minutes after Stewart's goal to preserve the 4-3 lead. After halftime, Gettysburg took over.

Jake Van Nostrand (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) faked his defender and fed Purkat, who scored while falling backwards to make it 5-3. Stewart finished a curling run just 1 minute, 4 seconds later for the Bullets' first 3-goal advantage of the day.

Copeland scored unassisted to bring RIT briefly within two, but Stewart and Purkat each found the net in a span of 1:37 to make it 8-4. Brian Ford (Niskayuna, NY/Niskayuna) capped the decisive period with his first collegiate goal, scoring in transition of a feed from O'Bannon with 53.6 seconds left in the quarter.

Purkat capped his hat trickwith 13:07 remaining and Kevin Smith (Baltimore, MD/McDonogh) closed out the scoring with his first goal of the season at 8:12.

Due to delays in the renovation of Gettysburg's home field from natural grass to an artificial surface, the game was moved to Washington & Lee University.

The Bullets return to action at W&L on Saturday. Game time is 1:30 p.m.