LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trailing 9-2 at the half, the VMI lacrosse team used a furious second-half rally to get back into contention but came up just shy of matching Bellarmine as the Keydets fell by a 13-12 score Saturday afternoon at Frazier Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky.
Bellarmine (2-8, 2-2) jumped ahead 4-1 after the opening quarter and scored five more in the second quarter while allowing just one VMI goal in the period to earn the big lead. After a Knight goal early in the third quarter, the Keydets (4-5, 0-4) got to work and started to pick up some momentum as they outscored the Knights 10-3 over the final 28 minutes of play.
Josh Bass, Johnny Daniel, Jon Fant and Ryan Perouty started the rally in the third quarter with consecutive goals before Bellarmine's Riley Seay momentarily stopped the rally with a Knight goal at the 4:13 mark of the period. VMI's Michael Santos then scored a goal for the Keydets before Bellarmine's Stephen Votto scored the final goal of the quarter to make the score 12-7 for the Knights with one quarter to go.
Daniel netted the first goal of the final period before Votto scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal at the 12:42 mark of the stanza. Unfazed, the Keydets continued to battle and logged four straight goals to finish the game and nearly tie the score. Perouty, Timothy Barile, Perouty and Fant combined to score goals within a six-minute span and put the Keydets within one at 13-12 with 5:01 to play.
Bellarmine successfully clamped down on defense to finish out the game and end the match without allowing another VMI goal.
"Too many mistakes and poor shot placement again put us into a big hole in this game but I can’t express enough how incredible of a last 25 minutes that was to be a part of," said VMI head coach Jon Birsner. "Down 10-2 in the third quarter and to have the last shot and lose 13-12 just shows the toughness of this group. I'm proud of these men. They don’t quit. We need to continue to have good preparations and stay ahead of these early game mistakes."
Perouty, Fant and Daniel finished the game with three goals apiece the lead the Keydets in the loss. Bellarmine's Landon Trout and Ian Miller each scored a trio of goals to lead the Knights to the win while Seay, Votto and Griffin Bowie each scored two.
The Keydets return home next week to face Jacksonville in a Southern Conference battle Saturday at noon on Drill Field No. 2.