HPU men’s lacrosse falters in home finale

Apr. 13, 2013 @ 08:49 PM

Before Saturday, High Point University men’s lacrosse coach Jon Torpey was generally satisfied with how his team had played in its first season.

The evaluation changed after the Panthers gave up 11 of the 12 goals scored over most of the second half and closed out the home portion of their schedule with an ugly 14-6 loss to Marquette on Saturday.
“Up until today I thought we played hard in every game and fought hard in every game and for some reason, we just didn’t today,” Torpey said after the Panthers dropped to 3-10 as the Golden Eagles improved to 3-6.
Marquette never trailed. The Golden Eagles scored on fast breaks and twice had attackers come from behind the net to score. More than once, a Golden Eagle split the Panthers defense and scored at point-blank range.
Austin Geisler, the starting Panther keeper, gave up 12 goals while making 11 saves before being pulled early in the fourth quarter.
HPU held a 46-36 advantage in shots but repeatedly failed to score in close as Marquette keeper J.J. Sagl grabbed 16 saves.
“We got outeverythinged,” Torpey said. “I was disappointed with the effort, disappointed with focus, disappointed with just about every facet of the game.”
The Panthers got within a goal on three occasions, the last time at 5-4 less than two minutes into the fourth quarter. The roof started caving shortly after Sagl stopped two shots from close range. Marquette scored three unassisted goals in a stretch of 2:30 to go up 8-4 and later scored six straight times over just eight minutes to lead 14-5 with 7:30 to play.
“We had a couple good days of practice and we just weren’t there today,” Torpey said.
Just how bad was the effort?
“We’re going to have to take a look at who is on the field for us at all positions,” Torpey said.
Mitchell Dupere and Michael Messenger scored twice for the Panthers while Matt Thistle and Brendan Montrello had one each. Dupere, Thistle, Christian Beith, Sam Johnson and Dan Lomas each had an assist.
“They came out and were more ready to play,” Dupere said. “We didn’t do what we were supposed to do and we didn’t play to the best of our abilities.”
The thud came in a game that the Panthers had circled on the calendar as one that was important to win because it was against another first-year program.
“We’ve played well for most of the season,” Dupere said. “We’ve had some close losses (by one goal to Jacksonville and Lafayette) that could have been and should have been wins. But, I’m not thinking about that now. This loss is pretty heavy. We’ve been working all season for this game.
“I think we’ll always be rivals with them because we came into Division I at the same time. We’ll always be compared to one another ­— who did it best? — that kind of ordeal. That just makes this loss that much more worse.”