Mercer lacrosse falls in SoCon semifinals

RICHMOND, Va. (SOCON SPORTS)– Third-seeded High Point edged second-seeded Mercer with a late goal in the semifinals of the SoCon Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Robins Stadium, on the campus of Richmond. The Panthers advance to the inaugural SoCon Championship game to meet top-seeded Richmond on Saturday at 2 p.m. on ESPN3.

High Point (9-6) was led by Michael LeClair and T Moyer with two goals apiece. Austin Geisler made 10 saves in the victory while allowing just six goals for a .625 save percentage.

Mercer (5-8) got two goals from Bryan Gibson and one goal and one assist each from both Tim Geran and Chris Baxa. The Bears outshot the Panthers, 36-23, and won 9-of-15 face-offs in game but struggled to find the net.

High Point scored on a man-up opportunity to start the fourth quarter on a goal by SoCon Offensive Player of the Year Dan Lomas. Chris Rahill later evened the game at six with a goal at the 12:57 mark.

The teams went scoreless for nearly nine minutes in the final frame until LeClair scored his second goal of the game to put the Panthers in front for good, 7-6.

The two teams went to overtime in their regular season matchup and finished the season tied 18-18 over two games on the year.

Mercer got on the board first, less than two minutes in to the game, with a goal by Geran to give his team the early advantage. High Point answered three minutes later with a goal by SoCon All-Freshman honoree Moyer.

Gibson netted a goal for the Bears at the 5:20 mark in period one to push the lead back to 2-1. High Point’s Sean Harrison would even it up with 1:24 left in the opening frame and conclude the scoring for the first quarter.

Mercer controlled the ball for much of the opening quarter, taking 12 shots to HPU’s 5 with a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal and 4-1 mark in face-offs.

The second quarter was all High Point, as the Panthers outscored the Bears 3-1 in the period to take a 5-3 halftime lead. LeClair and Matt Thistle scored the first two goals of the period as part of a 3-0 High Point run. Mercer’s Gibson scored his second goal of the game to cut it back to one but Moyer pushed the lead back to two with his second goal with 46 seconds to go in the half.

High Point outshot Mercer, 12-5, in the second quarter to put both teams at 17 shots apiece with eight shots on goal each at the break.

Mercer came out of the break and closed the gap with goals from Chris Baxa and Ben LaSane in third quarter, tying the game at 5-5.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He's from Alabama, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!