DETROIT- After trailing 9-3 at the half, the Keydets fought back within four goals with 14:21 left to play, but were unable to close the distance, falling to the Detroit Titans 13-9 Saturday, March 16 at Titan Field in the conference opener for both schools. Junior Keith Long and freshman Mickey Hofmeister led the charge on offense for the Keydets with four points each, while junior Stephen Robarge was 20-of-24 on faceoffs and had a game-high 14 groundballs.
VMI got on the board first 3:58 into the contest, as junior Tyler Griffith netted his fifth score of the season on a pass from classmate Andrew Nieminski to give the Keydets the early 1-0 advantage.
From that point on, Detroit went on to score seven unanswered goals by six different Titans as Detroit won the second quarter 7-2. The duo of junior Drew Leonard and freshman Mickey Hofmeister connected to give VMI its first score in nearly 20 minutes, giving Leonard his 10th score of the season and Hofmeister his 10th helper.
Following a pair of Titan scores to carry the count to 9-2, junior Keith Long scored VMI’s second man-down goal of the season on Hofmiester’s 11th assist of the season at the 1:10 mark. Hofmeister found Long darting through the mouth of the goal, as Long curled to his left and beat Detroit goalie A.J. Levell stick side high to send the game to a 9-3 score heading into the half.
VMI held a 17-14 groundball advantage at the half, while Robarge was 10-of-13 in the faceoff X. Keydet keeper Kelly McMinn had 10 saves after two quarters of play. Detroit held a 28-15 lead in shots, and were 8-of-9 on clear attempts.
The second half commenced with Detroit’s Ty Maruyama scoring to stretch the Titan advantage 10-3. From that point on, the Keydets outscored Detroit 6-3 the duration of the contest, led by two goals from junior Drew Leonard, Long, and Hofmeister.
Hofmeister’s first goal of the contest with 14:21 remaining brought the Keydets within four scores of taking the lead at 12-8, but VMI could not close the gap, falling 13-9.
Freshman Pat Johnston stabilized the Keydet defensive unit in the second half, relieving McMinn with nearly 21 minutes left in the game. He allowed only one goal to go along with six stops. McMinn made 13 saves and allowed 12 scores in the loss. Titan keeper AJ Levell made 14 saves for Detroit in the win.
VMI led the groundball charge 34-30, and were 3-of-9 on extra man opportunities. Long’s man-down goal in the second half was VMI’s second man-down goal of the season. Detroit led the shot category, 46-36. The Titan offensive effort was led by Chris Nemes who had three scores, as well as Shayne Adams who had two goals and two helpers.
VMI returns to action on Tuesday, March 22 as the Keydets play host to Mount St. Mary’s. Faceoff is slated for 3 p.m., and live stats as well as Twitter updates will be provided.
For more on VMI lacrosse, follow the program on Twitter @VMILacrosse.