February 12, 2011

Ohio State Gives Mercer Rude Welcome

from press release

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mercer University's initial venture in men's lacrosse did not go as hoped for the Bears as they suffering a 20-2 setback at Ohio State University in the program's first-ever game at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. While MU dropped its first game, the Buckeyes improved to 2-0 with the win.

The combination of an experienced OSU team and Mercer's first-day jitters made for a long afternoon, as the hosts jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. The Buckeyes led 11-2 at halftime and 17-2 after three periods.

The second quarter provided some historic significance for the Bears fledgling program. Freshman Cole Branch will have his name forever etched in the MU record book by tallying the program's first goal at the 11:20 mark, unassisted.

With 3:09 left in the second – and trailing 9-1 – Brett Eisenmann netted the Bears' second goal of the day. Branch was credited with MU's first-ever assist on Eisenmann's goal.

Mercer's starting goalkeeper, Justin Bateman, played the first three quarters and took the loss. Bateman was hit with 17 of OSU's goals, while Dillon Volk (who played the fourth quarter) allowed three goals. Bateman had six of the Bears' seven saves.

The Buckeyes dominated the statistics, out-shooting MU by a 43-0 margin and winning 22 of the 24 faceoffs.

"We got a lesson today in what happens when you are not 100-percent ready to play when it's time to drop the ball," said MU head coach Jason Childs. "I thought we came out very tentative and worried too much about what Ohio State was going to do, and not enough about what we needed to do.

"We need to digest this, learn from this and then get ready for VMI next Wednesday."

The Bears will welcome the Virginia Military Institute next Wednesday (Feb. 16) at Bear Field, in what will be the first-ever NCAA Division I men's lacrosse game involving a Georgia team played within the state. Faceoff is slated for 4 p.m.

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