LEXINGTON, Va. - Despite five goals from junior attack Wesley Sanders and trailing just 4-3 after the first quarter, the VMI lacrosse team fell by a 16-10 score to visiting Jacksonville Saturday afternoon at Drill Field No. 2.
Sanders' seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) for a single game is tied for sixth most in program history, and tied for second most for a conference game. His five goals scored for a single conference game is also tied for second most in program history.
Although the Keydets (2-8, 0-4) trailed by just one after the opening period, the Dolphins (1-9, 1-3) outscored VMI 3-1 in the second quarter and 4-1 in the third quarter to break open the game to move ahead by an 11-5 tally with only one quarter remaining. Both teams scored five goals apiece in the final period for the final result.
"Today was disappointing because we know we're better than we showed," said VMI head coach Jon Birsner. "Hats off to Jacksonville for never letting off the pedal and taking advantage of our lack of communication. The possession game played a huge factor with AJ getting hurt early in the game at faceoffs. We got dominated at that spot the rest of the game and when you combine that with unforced turnovers on offense you're going to play too much defense to win a Division 1 lacrosse game.
"It's a good and a bad thing to have our shortest turnaround playing at Monmouth on Monday so we need to learn from our mistakes, travel well and play VMI lacrosse in two days."
VMI outshot the Dolphins by a 49-31 ratio and had just 12 turnovers to Jacksonville's 16, but the Dolphins earned 48 groundballs to VMI's 25 and won 19 of 28 faceoffs to win the possession battle. The Keydets also struggled to capitalize on extra-man opportunities as they went 0-3 while the Dolphins went 1-2.
The Keydets were led by Sanders' five goals while John Daniel and Dale Mattice both contributed two. Senior Nick Dodd scored the other goal for VMI.
Jacksonville's Will Hendrick and McLean Chicquen both recorded three goals to lead the Dolphins while Eric Applegate, Mitchell Parker and Zach Buller each put in two. Goalie Ben Gleichenhaus won the game with six saves while VMI's Joe Riccadonna picks up the loss despite eight saves for the afternoon.
The Keydets turn around quickly for a makeup game with Monmouth slated for Monday at 2:30 p.m. in West Long Branch, New Jersey. The game was originally to be played in early March but was postponed due to snowy weather concerns.