MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Tom Buckley’s game-winning goal with 1:11 left in the fourth quarter propelled the No. 10 Pfeiffer men’s lacrosse team (6-1) to a huge win over No. 7 Seton Hill (4-2) by a final score of 8-7 on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon at NE Lefko Field. The goal was only Buckley’s second of the season, but the senior picked a great time to capture the moment.
Zac Clark caused a Seton Hill turnover with 1:30 to play and scooped up the ground ball. He dished to Buckley who raced to the offensive end of the field and fired a shot that beat the goalie as the Pfeiffer faithful erupted on the sidelines. The Falcons withstood a barrage of shots down the stretch, including one that hit the post, and Hayden Kirk made a big save to preserve the victory.
James Shepherd was the catalyst offensively this afternoon, recording three goals in the game. Five other Falcons recorded one goal apiece and Kirk improved to 5-1 on the year with 10 saves.
Khalid Stukes was a weapon at the faceoff circle for Pfeiffer, winning nine faceoffs and grabbing eight ground balls. Midfielder Michael Triolo had four ground balls and caused two turnovers and teammate David Lehman had three ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Pfeiffer finished the afternoon with a 32-30 advantage in ground balls and went 1-for-2 on the man advantage. Seton Hill out shot Pfeiffer 34-30 in the contest but were 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Seton Hall ran out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first quarter as Marc Piche and Matt Delmonico each recorded goals. The Griffins shut Pfeiffer out for the quarter and went into the second frame up by two. Steven Tilmon recorded the Falcons first goal of the game at the 11:29 mark of the second period. Shepherd would even the score 4:09 later but Seton Hill ended the half with a goal with only 20 seconds remaining on the clock.
Shepherd and Derek Thomas each scored 1:08 apart to start the third period as the Falcons jumped ahead 4-3. Tucker Hammock’s first goal of the game gave Pfeiffer a 5-3 lead but the visitors came roaring back. The Griffins scored four of the game’s next five goals, including back-to-back strikes from Delmonico, to take a 7-6 lead. Shepherd knotted the score at the 9:46 mark with an unassisted score.
With 2:46 left in the game, Lehman was whistled for a 30 second holding penalty but Pfeiffer’s man down defense kept the Griffins off the scoreboard, setting the stage for Buckley’s dramatic winner.
Delmonico scored three times in the losing effort and goalie Brady Lawrence fell to 4-2 on the season as he made 10 saves. Anthony Peluso went 10-for-19 on faceoffs and scooped up six ground balls for the Griffins.
Pfeiffer avenged last season’s 14-7 loss at Seton Hill on April 6.
The Falcons return to action on Wednesday when they host Belmont Abbey at 3 p.m. The game against the Crusaders will be Pfeiffer’s first home Conference Carolinas contest of the year.