Roanoke vs. Whittier
March 26, 2003
The Game Story:
SALEM, VA--Trailing 8-7 at halftime, the third-ranked Poets of Whittier (CA) College outscored Roanoke, 12-6, in the second half to come away with a 19-14 men's lacrosse victory on Wednesday afternoon in Salem, VA. The Poets, who have now won three consecutive meetings with the Maroons, improve to 5-0 on the season, while the Maroons, who are ranked ninth in the country, fall to 5-2, with both of their losses coming to top-three ranked squads.

The Poets found themselves behind by one goal heading into the third quarter, but scored four of the first five goals of the period to gain an 11-9 lead. Junior Dan Finck was a spark in that run, scoring a goal and assisting two others. The first Whittier goal of the period came on the man-up off of a Roanoke penalty with three seconds left in the second quarter. Evan Cardwell scored the tying goal, and Luke Gilbert put the Poets ahead for good with 6:42 to play in the third. By the time the third quarter ended, the Poets had scored seven times and owned a 14-11 lead.

Whittier opened the fourth on another run, getting the first two goals to take a 16-11 advantage. After Roanoke's Joe Weeren (Winchester, MA/Winchester) scored his sixth goal of the game to make the score 16-13, the Poets scored three more goals in a row to get out to a 19-13 lead. Andy Bonasera (Columbus, OH/Upper Arlington) tallied late in the game to cap the game scoring.

The Maroons fell behind 2-0 in the opening moments of the game, but battled back to take a 4-2 lead in the first. Ryder Bateman and Luke Gilbert got goals less than five minutes in, but Weeren responded with back-to-back goals to tie the score. Mike Chase (Webster, NY/Webster) and Bonasera capped a 4-0 RC run, Bonasera's goal coming with 6:47 left. Larry Giglio scored a shorthanded goal with 5:50 to play in the first and Kelly Hall scored, off of one of Roanoke's 17 failed clears in the game, as time expired to tie the score at four.

Early in the second, both teams traded goals, but Bonasera and Dan Reed (Columbus, OH/Upper Arlington) scored goals just 25 seconds apart to make the score 8-6 in RC's favor, with 5:03 to play in the half. Andrew Biers brought the Poets to within 8-7 with his lone goal of the game with 2:46 to go in the opening half.

After winning 12 of 16 face-offs in the first half, the Maroons won just five of 17 in the second half and lost the groundball race 32-16 in the second half as well. Tim Morse (Santa Fe, NM/Tabor) stopped 15 Poet shots in the first 30 minutes of play, but came back with just five in the second half and finished the game with 20. His counterpart, Adam Messick made 11 saves, including two in the third period that kept the Maroons from closing to within just three goals. Both teams were also proficiency on the man-up. Whittier scored three goals in six opportunities and Roanoke converted four of its seven attempts.