ELKINS, W.Va. - - The Wilmington University men's lacrosse team scored 10 first half goals en route to a 14-10 nonconference victory at Davis & Elkins on Thursday, wrapping up the team's Spring Break trip to West Virginia.
The 10 first half goals are a new season high, as the Wildcats (2-5) jumped all over the Senators (0-6), scoring the first four goals of the game and led 5-2 after the first quarter. The Wildcats then scored the final five goals of the second quarter to lead, 10-4, going into the halftime break.
The Senators battled back in the third quarter by outscoring the Wildcats, 4-2, but Dylan McCleaft scored the final goal of the quarter to stem the tide and give the Wildcats a 12-8 lead heading into the final frame. Davis & Elkins scored back-to-back goals to get to within 13-10 with 2:13 to play, but it was too little too late as the Wildcats held off the comeback to win, 14-10.
Burley then started a 5-0 run in the second quarter for the Wildcats, followed by back-to-back goals from McCleaft to put the Wildcats up, 8-4, with 4:23 before the half. John Novak got in on the scoring with 2:35 to play before McCleaft beat the halftime buzzer on a pass from Smith with one second showing on the scoreboard.
The Senators scored four of the first five goals in the third quarter to close the gap to 11-8, but McCleaft scored his fifth goal of the game with 4:19 left to regain momentum and take a 12-8 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Cory Melvin started the fourth with a goal for a 13-8 lead before the Senators retaliated with goals at the 4:16 and 2:13 mark. But that's all they would get in the fourth, as Burley capped the scoring with 32 seconds to play for the 14-10 lead.
McCleaft led the Wildcats with five goals while Smith led the team with seven points, scoring three goals while adding four assists. Burley chipped in with four goals and an assist. John Novak and Cory Melvin contributed one goal and one assist each as well.
Noah Given made 10 stops for the victory while Kyle Leary caused a season high six caused turnovers to go with seven ground balls. Jon Howell caused five turnovers to go with three ground balls while Chris Smith added three caused turnovers. Jyles Ruff was 7-of-18 in the face-off circle for the Wildcats.
Thursday was the final nonconference game of the season for the Wildcats, as they begin Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play in April. They open on the road at Post on Sunday, April 8 in Waterbury, Connecticut. Opening face-off is set for 10:00 a.m.