March 5 – BETHANY, W. Va. – Behind a record-shattering night from sophomore Grant Delaney (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) and a strong second half defensive effort, the Bison lacrosse team (1-3) picked up their first win of the season, 15-9, over Franciscan University on Wednesday evening.
The Barons came out of the gate with the hot hand, notching the first two goals of the game over just the first 2:12 of the contest. Luke Gilman notched the first goal, with the second coming just 27 seconds later to give Franciscan the early 2-0 lead.
Over the next eight minutes, the Bison would have an answer. Delaney scored his first goal of the season off of a pass from Travis Granich (Huntington, W. Va./Huntington) with 7:10 to play in the first period to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
It would take Delaney just 23 seconds to notch his second of the game. He took a great pass from sophomore Tim Pagano (Erie, Pa./Fort Leboeuf) and buried the shot in the back of the net to knot the contest at 2-2.
After Jake Holland (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) recorded his first-career goal to give Bethany a 3-2 lead, Delaney was at it again, completing his hat trick with a goal off of a Dylan Radwanski (Toronto, Ohio/Toronto) feed to extend the Bethany advantage to 4-2.
For his first-career hat trick, Delaney completed the feat in a span of just 2:51 in the first period to help stake the Bison to the two-goal advantage after the first stanza.
The second period started much like the first ended, with the Bison tacking on more goals. Granich notched his first of the game off a pass from Delaney just 21 seconds into the second to give Bethany a 5-2 lead. Delaney then captured his fourth of the contest to push the advantage even further to 6-2.
Franciscan would not go away, however, fighting back with four-straight goals in a span of 3:22. The final goal, which tied the game at 6-6, came off the stick of Ryan Zbikowski with 7:33 remaining until the half. The two teams would then trade scores to keep the game deadlocked at 7-7. Delaney scored his fifth goal of the half with 6:29 to play, and he was immediately answered by Gilman just 19 seconds later.
The Bison would come up big once again toward the end of the half as Delaney and Granich each notched another goal in the period to push the lead to 9-7 in favor of the Green & White. With just 32 seconds remaining, the Barons inched closer on Gilman’s fourth goal of the half, cutting Bethany’s lead to just one (9-8) at the break.
The third period belonged to the Bison, as stout defense and timely offense allowed Bethany to extend their advantage. The Bison defense forced nine Franciscan turnovers in the third period, and scored the only two goals of the frame. The first goal came on Delaney’s seventh goal of the evening with 11:34 remaining in the period. The second goal, scored at the 9:50 mark of the frame, came off the stick of Kyle Lehosit (Bridgeport, W. Va./Bridgeport) to give the Bison a 11-8 lead.
The fourth period opened with the Barons cutting the deficit to two (11-9) on Gilman’s fifth goal of the contest with 12:40 to play in regulation. The rest of the frame, however, was controlled by Bethany.
Brendan Wessells (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) scored the next three goals of the contest, scoring at the 10:06 mark, the 6:12 mark and finishing the hat trick with 3:55 to play in the game, giving Bethany the 14-9 lead.
Delaney was not done for the day, as he would notch one more score, this time off a pass from Wessells with 2:29 to play, giving the Bison a 15-9 advantage. Bethany would go on to win the game by the same score.
The day marked a major accomplishment by Delaney, who wrote his name in the Bison record books. His eight goals now sit as the all-time single-game school record. The record was originally held by Kyle Arrington, who scored six goals against Franciscan on April 20, 2013. Delaney also tied the Bethany single-game mark for points scored in a game as he finished the day with nine. Zach Gordon also managed the feat last season in a game vs. Southern Virginia on April 5, 2013.
Other stars offensively for the Bison included Wessells, Granich and Holland. Holland finished the game with six points, as he scored one goal and added five assists. His assist total was just one shy of tying the school’s all-time single-game mark. Wessells finished the contest with his first hat trick of the year while Granich added two goals and an assist. Lehosit also posted two points in the contest, scoring once and adding an assist to his totals.
As a team, the Bison played well defensively, forcing the Barons into 37 turnovers through the course of the game. Freshman Evan Bender (Wheeling, W. Va./Wheeling Park) led the team with four caused turnovers, while Kyle Dashiell (Parsonsburg, Md./Wicomico) paced the Bison in ground balls with seven.
Bethany also dominated the faceoff game, as the Bison won 19 of the 28 draw controls. Andrew Parsons (Salisbury, Md./Wicomico) was solid on draws, as he went 15-21 over the course of the contest.
The Bison will be back in action on Saturday, March 8, as they play host to Defiance College. The contest is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.