MARS HILL, NC - Despite trailing by as many as four goals early in the first half, the No. 11 ranked Pfeiffer men's lacrosse team (2-0) defeated Mars Hill (0-1) by a final score of 18-11 on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon. Pfeiffer scored seven goals in the third period to seize the momentum and defeat the Lions for the first time since April 10, 2004, a span of seven games.
Robert Hope had a monster game for Pfeiffer, scoring three goals and handing out four assists. Steven Tilmon scored four times and Spencer Allen notched three tallies for Pfeiffer who outscored Mars Hill 10-2 in the second half.
Hayden Kirk improved to 2-0 in net as he stopped eight shots.
Mars Hill controlled the early stages of the contest, running out to a 6-2 lead after one period of play. Tilmon and David Lehman scored Pfeiffer's goals which gave the Falcons a brief 2-1 lead before the hosts rattled off five straight to end the period. The Lions converted two goals with the man advantage in a strong first 15 minutes of play.
Michael Triolo scored just 48 seconds into the second period, but Connor Staub answered to put Mars Hill back up four at 7-3. Pfeiffer mounted a furious comeback as Triolo, Allen, Tucker Hammock and James Shepherd all scored to tie the game at 7. However, Mars Hill scored two straight to reclaim a 9-7 lead. With just 39 seconds to play, Lehman fed Devon Menear for a man down score that made the score 9-8 heading into the break.
Pfeiffer dominated the third period, holding a 14-5 advantage in shots and outscoring the Lions 7-0 in the period. Allen got the scoring started with a man up tally 47 seconds into the period. The Falcons would then rattle off three goals in just under three minutes of play as Tilmon, Allen and Hope found the back of the net. Up 12-9 with under three minutes to play, Pfeiffer would surge ahead with three more scores in the final 2:31. Hope had a monster quarter, finishing with two goals and two assists.
Tilmon added his fourth goal in the fourth period and Hope netted the hat trick at the 12:54 mark.
Pfeiffer went a perfect 19-for-19 in clears and were deadly with the extra man. The Falcons went 5-of-6 in man up chances and held a 40-33 advantage in ground balls. Pfeiffer also outshot the Lions 48-35.
Mars Hill was led by Jimmy McBride who scored two goals and handed out two assists on the game. Patrick McMahon received the loss in net, allowing all 18 goals while making 12 stops.
Triolo and Tilmon led Pfeiffer in ground balls with six apiece, while Triolo went a perfect 4-for-4 in face-offs. Triolo also caused two turnovers.
The game was a homecoming for new head coach Jason Lange who spent four seasons as the assistant coach at Mars Hill.
"Our young men did a great job today," said Lange after the victory. "I was happy to see us fight back against a talented and hungry Mars Hill team."
Pfeiffer looks to continue its hot start as they host Queens on Saturday at 1 p.m.