VWC hands men's lacrosse first defeat, 11-10

Max Smerka
Max Smerka

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Virginia Wesleyan College edged Berry College, 11-10, on Sunday afternoon. The loss was the first for Berry (2-1) and VWC improved to 2-0. 

Max Smerka had three goals and one assist to lead BC. Bryan Byers potted three goals and Cory Hall added two scores and one helper for the visitors.

The Vikings--trailing 11-10--forced a turnover with 48 seconds left and had an opportunity to tie the game. Berry called timeout and setup a play for Hall. His shot, however, was saved by Rory Finnegan (13 saves) with 13 seconds left. The Marlins were then able to run out the clock.

In the back-and-forth game, the Vikings got off to a slow start. The Marlins raced to a 3-0 lead and held a 3-1 edge after the first quarter. The home team led in shots, 12-2, in the first period.

Berry clawed back and trailed 4-3 at halftime. The Vikes outscored the Marlins 4-1 in the third period. Berry led 7-5 heading to the final quarter.

BC held another two-goal lead at 8-6 after Byers tallied off a feed from Smerka. Yet the home club tallied the next three goals and led 9-8 with 9:44 left. Hall gave BC its final lead at 10-9 with 8:35 remaining.

VWC, however, got goals from Nick Pappas and Joe Papetti (3:15) to close the game's scoring. Pappas and Josh Currier both had four goals and two assists for the Marlins.

"We played hard for 60 minutes and had chances to seal the game," said Head Coach Curtis Gilbert. "But VWC just made a few more plays than we did in the waning minutes of the game. We will regroup and focus our efforts against Methodist and Guilford team this week."

Virginia Wesleyan had the edge in faceoffs (15-8), shots (36-33) and ground balls (46-35). 

Goalkeeper Jordan Boreman recorded seven saves for Berry. The Vikings play at Methodist on Tuesday at 2 p.m.