LEXINGTON, Va. - Despite grabbing a 3-2 lead at the end of the opening period, the VMI lacrosse team was outscored 12-5 the rest of the way as visiting Mount St. Mary's pulled away for a 14-8 victory Tuesday afternoon at Drill Field No. 2.
VMI (1-7, 0-3) senior Brad Nardella recorded his third hat trick of the year and junior Wesley Sanders earned his first of the season to lead the VMI attack, but a scoreless second quarter and 5-2 score disadvantage in the final period proved too much for the Keydets to overcome.
Sanders has now registered four career games with at least three goals scored and runs his personal streak to 22 consecutive games with at least one goal or assist earned. Freshman John Daniel logged the other two scores for VMI during the game.
The game was evenly matched in several categories with the Mount (3-5, 1-1) tallying 42 shots to VMI's 41, 13 faceoff wins to VMI's 12, 10 saves to VMI's 11 and 18 successful clears to VMI's 15. The Keydets won the groundball battle, 38-25, and held the Mount scoreless on their one extra-man opportunity, but were hurt by 19 turnovers in the game.
"We continue to play a good 40 minutes of Division 1 lacrosse but the other 20 minutes that are filled with turnovers and breakdowns are too costly at this level," said VMI head coach Jon Birsner. "We left a lot of goals on the field today. To take 41 shots is good but eight goals is not. I was happy with our stops that led to transition opportunities but we didn't execute on enough of them. We need to stretch the field and finish our breaks better.
"I'm proud of the way we competed at faceoffs. We've been struggling there all year but AJ Krstulovic and Tristan Capes-Davis worked hard and battled well today. We're hoping to continue to build on that and give them better wing play."
The Mount's Chris DiPretoro led the way with his own hat trick while Bubba Johnson and Jack Mangan both recorded two scores. Seven other Mount players logged solo goals throughout the match.
VMI keeper Joe Riccadonna picked up the loss despite 11 saves while St. Mary's goalie Matt Vierheller takes the win with 10 saves.
The Keydets continue their step out of conference play by traveling to Hampton for a Saturday matchup at 2 p.m. in Hampton, Virginia. The game was originally slated for a noon start but was moved to two hours later as announced Monday.