BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team could not dig itself out of an early hole in a 17-7 season-opening loss to Birmingham-Southern College Friday night, Feb. 17, inside Tucci Stadium. The Titans dip to 0-1, while the Panthers remain undefeated at 3-0 on the year.
Illinois Wesleyan saw BSC score the game’s first six goals before junior Bob Boone (Los Angeles, Calif.-Notre Dame) net a goal less than one minute into the second quarter. Senior Connor Kiichle (Vancouver, Wash.-Skyview) followed with a goal with 10:22 to go in the half to pull IWU within four, 6-2.
Birmingham-Southern responded with a goal off the ensuing draw, which proved to be the start of a five-goal run that opened up an 11-2 BSC lead.
Senior Carson Kiichle (Vancouver, Wash.-Skyview) found junior Ike Eastburn (Colorado Springs, Colo.-Cheyenne Mountain) near the crease for a goal with 2:10 left in the period as the Titans saw an 11-3 deficit at the break.
Out of halftime, the Green and White found some momentum as senior Jaxon Hendrickson (Langley, British Columbia, Canada-Westtown) buried a goal with 11:19 to play. Connor Kiichle and Eastburn tacked on goals as IWU outscored BSC, 3-0, in the quarter to pull within five, 11-6, with 15 minutes to play.
Illinois Wesleyan could not get any closer though, as Birmingham-Southern scored five straight goals to extend its lead to double digits.
Freshman Micahel Rocco (Libertyville, Ill.-Libertyville) went 7-for-10 at the x, while Carson Kiichle scooped up a team-high seven ground balls. Junior Michael Campagna (Arlington Heights, Ill.-St. Viator) added six ground balls and tied senior Blake Muschewske (Excelsior, Minn.-Holy Family Catholic) for the team lead with three caused turnovers.
In net, junior Alex Oximana (Seattle, Wash.-Bishop Blanchet) made nine stops as the goalie of record. Sophomore Colin Tervo (West Linn, Ore.-West Linn) added four saves in relief.
The Titans look to get on track Sunday, Feb. 19, with a non-conference battle with Rhodes College. Game time is slated for noon inside Tucci Stadium.