STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Despite a fourth-quarter rally outscoring the host team three goals to one, the VMI lacrosse team fell by an 11-8 score to Wagner College Tuesday afternoon in Staten Island, New York.
Down 6-3 at the half and 10-5 by the end of the third quarter, the Keydets tallied three goals in the final period in a comeback effort but fell a little short as the Seahawks prevailed at Hameline Field.
In an evenly matched game, VMI picked up 28 groundballs to Wagner's 34, both squads committed 11 turnovers and both won 11 of the 22 total faceoff opportunities. The Keydets also went a perfect 18-18 on clear attempts while Wagner failed on just two but were successful on 18 of 20.
Senior Brad Nardella scored a career-high three goals in the game and now has seven on the year, matching his previous career high for goals in a season set during his freshman year in 2014. His first goal cut the Seahawk lead to 4-3 in the second quarter and his second trimmed the disadvantage to 9-4 late in the third period. His man-up goal with 2:56 left in regulation was the final score of the game as he took an assist from fellow senior Chris Spada.
Spada turned in a strong effort by tallying two goals of his own during the game in addition to an assist for three total points, one short of the career high set earlier this season against NJIT in the home opener. Wesley Sanders, John Daniel and Kyle Walsh also scored for the Keydets.
Sanders has now earned at least one point in 18 consecutive games, while Walsh scored his second career goal and Daniel logged his third goal of the season as a freshman. VMI goalie Joe Riccadonna earned a team-high five groundballs during the match and totaled 14 saves in the loss.
Wagner was led by three goals apiece from Joe Lomeli and Paul DeVita with Nick Ancona providing two. The Seahawks took 42 shot attempts throughout the game to VMI's 31.
The Keydets return to action Saturday for the second of a three-game road swing as they take on No. 20 Richmond at 3 p.m. in Richmond, Virginia for the Southern Conference opener.