The Alma College Men's Lacrosse team closed out the 2014 season by welcoming Transylvania University (KY) to Bahlke Field for a match on Saturday afternoon. The Scots mounted a late fourth-quarter comeback, but found themselves on the wrong end of a 13-8 final at home.
With the loss, Alma finished 2014 with a 6-11 overall record and a 1-5 mark in conference play. Despite the defeat, the Scots have plenty to celebrate as their six wins are the most in a season in program history and their 8-4 victory over Calvin on April 18th was the first conference victory since the program formed three years ago. The Pioneers finished the season at 7-7 with the win on Saturday.
"Turnovers bit us in the butt this afternoon," said Alma Head Coach Jason Levesque. "Turnovers at crucial times and points in the game cost us. We're a resilient group and kept pushing until the very end, however we need to be much more efficient with and value our possessions.
"There's no sugarcoating it, every play is critical to the final score. We have a great deal of respect for Coach Justice and the Transylvania team, they played a well rounded 60 minute game. Both of our games against them have been competitive, I hope we can retain them on our schedule in the future.
"At the end of the day, we made some tremendous strides forward as a program this season. I'm very much looking forward to seeing everyone back on campus next fall as we continue to work toward our team goals."
Transylvania jumped on the Scots early at Bahlke Field, putting up three in the first quarter to take the 3-0 lead into the second.
Fr. MF Josh Sejat (Grand Rapids/Northview) put Alma on the board in second quarter, connecting on an unassisted goal at 13:45 to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Following two-straight Pioneer goals, the Scots responded with two of their own, with a Fr. A TJ Miller (Brighton/Brighton) score at 9:20 and a So. A Kyle Schnitzer (Aurora, CO/Smoky Hill) goal off an assist by So. MF Marshall Argenta (Stafford, NY/Notre Dame) with just over seven minutes to play in the half.
Transylvania ended the half with a goal, and the score showed 6-3 visitors after one half of play.
The Pioneers put three more points on the board in the third quarter to extend the lead to 9-3 heading into the final quarter.
Jr. MF Tyler Bennett (New Lothrop/New Lothrop) kicked off the fourth for Alma with a goal of an assist by So. MF David Foster (Ann Arbor/Pioneer) and the Scots closed to the gap to five (9-4) with just over 14 minutes remaining.
Miller rang the bell at 9:20 on a man-up goal and Schnitzer followed with his second goal of the contest to bring Alma within four at 10-6.
The vistors scored three-straight to extend the lead to 13-6 with only two minutes remaining.
Jr. D Alex Novak (South Holland, IL/Marian Catholic) and Bennett both collected goals in final 30 seconds of the fourth, but despite the big quarter, Alma left Bahkle Field with the 13-8 defeat.
Bennett, Schnitzer and Miller each scored two goals on Saturday, while Novak and Sejat chipped in the other two scores for Alma. Foster, Argenta and Schnitzer each recorded an assist in the loss. Bennett paced the Alma defense, scooping up six groundballs against the Pioneers.
In goal, So. GK Al Lesperance (Farmington/Farmington) got saddled with the loss after making one save on nine shots in 37:51 minutes played, he finishes 2014 with a 4-5 overall record. Jr. GK Daric Mueller (DeWitt/DeWitt) recorded four saves on nine shots in 22:09 minutes played on Saturday.