LEXINGTON, Va. - Looking to defeat Hampton for a third consecutive season, the VMI lacrosse team put heavy pressure on the Pirate defense the entire game to earn a dominating 18-3 victory on a warm Saturday afternoon at Drill Field No. 2.
The Keydets (2-6) jumped quickly into attack mode to open the game by unleashing a litany of shots before senior Wesley Sanders scored first at the 6:51 mark for an early lead. VMI had few issues from that point on as the Keydets scored four more to end the first period ahead, 5-0, and eight goals in the second period to eventually go up by a 13-1 score at the half.
Sanders, Ryan Perouty and John Daniel finished the game with four goals apiece to lead the Keydets while Jon Fant, Brice Basic, Timothy Barile, Austin Hughes, Donald Proper and Dawson Kizzar scored individual goals. The goals by freshmen Kizzar and Basic marked their first career goals at VMI while junior Barile registered his second career goal as a Keydet.
The game proved to be an excellent opportunity for many of the younger players to earn game experience as Ian Baker, Thomas Branch, Alex Choate, Miles Henderson, Grant Jenkins, Kizzar, Kenneth Krstulovic, Kurt Naumann, Joe Riccadonna, Ben Rising, Isaac Smith and Derek Wilson entered the field for the first time this season.
Freshman goalie Bill Osteen earned the win after playing the first 21 minutes and logging two saves. He was replaced by senior Riccadonna, who played 28 minutes and earned seven saves for the day. Isaac Smith and Alex Choate also saw time in the circle for VMI as the two combined for five saves.
VMI finished the game with a season-high 57 shot attempts to Hampton's 34 and picked up 45 groundballs to the Pirates' 29. The Keydets were also dominant in possessing the ball as VMI won 19 of 23 faceoffs, including 10 from AJ Krstulovic and seven from freshman Ripken Reynolds. VMI also held the Pirates scoreless on extra-man opportunities as Hampton finished 0-7 for the day.
The Keydets return to Southern Conference action next Saturday on the road when they travel to Macon, Georgia, for a 1 p.m. matchup with the Mercer Bears.