In a defacto SAC Regular Season Championship game, the No. 13 Lenoir-Rhyne men’s lacrosse team shut down No. 7 Wingate’s high-powered offense en route to a 10-5 victory on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs scored only two goals in the second half and none in the fourth quarter as LR topped their rivals for the third straight time. Coming into tonight, Wingate’s lowest scoring output on the season was 11 goals and the 15 shots on goal were 11 fewer than their previous season low.
The Bears would strike first on a behind-the-back goal from Kyle Hatcher on the man advantage with the assist going to Joe Venazio at the 10:13 mark. Tommy Aguilar would add a second man-up goal with Myles Moffat getting the assist. With the helper, Moffat became just the third player in program history to top 200 career points.
The Bulldogs cut it to 2-1 with a Danny Riley goal but Venazio and Evan Voss answered to make it 4-1. Willie Grieco notched his 32nd goal of the year for Wingate at the 10:34 mark of the second quarter but Toron Eccleston went back-to-back for the Bears as the lead swelled to 6-2.
Wingate would end the half with a Bobby Padden goal to make it 6-3 and started the second half with a goal from Marc Cottage Jr. to pull within two at 6-4. Tommy Aguilar gave LR some breathing room at 7-4 but Padden pulled the hosts back to within two at the 2:11 mark of the third quarter.
From that moment on, LR would hold Wingate scoreless which spanned the final 17:11 of the game. Eccleston, Venazio and Voss sealed the game with goals as LR took a 10-5 victory.
Noah Johnson was terrific on his birthday, stopping 10 shots and earning his 10th win of the year. John Paulus won 12 of 18 faceoffs and grabbed six ground balls in the game.
Lenoir-Rhyne scored four goals on the man advantage for the first time since doing so against Wheeling Jesuit in 2017. LR has won four straight games under the lights and is 35-9 all-time in night games.
This is the sixth 10-win season in program history. LR is now 34-12 all-time in the month of April.
This is LR’s third win over a ranked team but first over a top 10 team this year. Greg Paradine moved his career record to 9-6 against rival Wingate.
The Bears are tied with Limestone for first place in the league standings with just two games left to play for each squad.
The Bears are 10-3, 7-1 SAC. LR will return to action on Saturday and host Lincoln Memorial on Senior Day at 4 p.m. in their home finale.