Men's Lacrosse Defeats Nationally 10th-Ranked Pfeiffer 10-6 - Advance To Finals Of Conference Carolinas Tournament

Men's Lacrosse Defeats Nationally 10th-Ranked Pfeiffer 10-6 - Advance To Finals Of Conference Carolinas Tournament

Ross Bowman compiled 14 of his school record 19 saves in the first half and Cameron Walsh's goal with 38 seconds left halted a late rally as No. 2 seed University of Mount Olive defeated third-seeded and nationally 10th-ranked Pfeiffer 10-6 in the semifinal round of the 2014 Conference Carolinas Men's Lacrosse Tournament Wednesday at Amon Field. The Trojans advance to the championship game Sunday against top-seeded and nationally third-ranked Limestone.

Mount Olive (13-2) built an 8-3 lead with 8:39 left in the game after Luke Morris caused a turnover and Walsh found Matt Shields for a goal. Pfeiffer scored a pair of goals 61 seconds apart before both teams capitalized on penalties for man-up goals. After Brett Kingston scored with 5:27 remaining, Robert Hope answered with 3:45 left to pull the Falcons within 9-6.

Pfeiffer (9-5) gained another extra-man opportunity with 3:22 left to play after a one-minute cross-checking penalty against Mount Olive. The Trojans narrowly missed causing a turnover, but did manage to hold the Falcons without a shot during the penalty. Bowman notched his record-breaking 19th save with 2:14 remaining.

The Trojans gained a two-man advantage after a pair of Pfeiffer penalties with 1:51 left and still had a man advantage after the first penalty expired. Pfeiffer goalkeeper Hayden Kirk made a save on Walsh's shot from just in front of the net, but Walsh got the ground ball off the deflection and iced the game with a goal into an open net.

Pfeiffer needed just 16 seconds to draw first blood as Spencer Allen scored for the Falcons. Alex Tindall evened the contest just over a minute later and Kingston's goal with 11:25 left in the first period put Mount Olive ahead to stay. Walsh added a goal in the first period and Nico Shewey's goal was the only tally of the second period as the Trojans led 4-1 at halftime.

Mount Olive was outshot 14-5 in the first period, but Bowman recorded eight saves in the first 15 minutes to keep Pfeiffer at a single goal. Bowman added six saves on nine shots in the second period. He made a save on Pfeiffer's first shot of the third period and the Trojans blocked the next shot before Derek Thomas' goal with 12:41 remaining pulled the Falcons within 4-2 and ended a string of 24 consecutive missed shots.

Walsh and Dan Shields answered with goals in the third period as Mount Olive extended its lead to 6-2. The margin never fell below three goals the rest of the way.

Walsh led all scorers with three goals, while Kingston and Shewey added two goals apiece for Mount Olive. Thomas scored a pair of goals for Pfeiffer, which outshot the Trojans 45-31 for the game, including a 13-8 advantage in the fourth period.

The win was Mount Olive's second this season over Pfeiffer, which was ranked No. 7 when the Trojans rallied for an 11-10 overtime win three weeks ago.

Limestone advanced to the championship game with an 18-4 victory over fourth-seeded Belmont Abbey in Wednesday's other semifinal. The Trojans fell 14-6 at Limestone March 30.

Sunday's game time is 1 p.m. at Gaffney, S.C.