April 24 – STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – The Bethany College lacrosse team closed out their 2015 campaign by dropping a wild contest to Franciscan University, 13-12, on Friday evening in Steubenville. Despite scoring eight unanswered goals in the fourth quarter, the Bison still fell by the one-goal difference.
The Bison and Barons went back-and-forth in the first quarter, trading the first four goals through the opening nine minutes. Franciscan grabbed the first tally from Peter Herrmann just 1:10 into the contest. Less than two minutes later, the Bison responded as Jordan Horne (Marysville, Mich./Marysville) found the net off a pass from Grant Delaney (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) to tie the game at 1-1.
After Franciscan retook the lead at the 8:29 mark of the opening quarter, Bethany answered with two unanswered tallies to take a 3-2 advantage. Jake Holland (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) scored his first of the game off a feed from Jacob Schiffer (Monkton, Md./Hereford) with 6:22 to go. Then, with just under 30 seconds remaining in the quarter, Schiffer found the net on his own, staking the visitors to the lead at the quarter break.
The second quarter was all Barons, as Franciscan outscored the Bison 4-0 in the second frame to take a 6-3 lead into the halftime break.
The Green & White would open the second half with the first goal as Schiffer posted his third point of the game, assisting on a Colton Reeve’s (Poquoson, Va./Poquoson) goal just 57 seconds into the half to cut the Franciscan lead to 6-4. From there, however, the Barons would put together another 4-0 scoring run, putting the Bison behind the eight ball, down 10-4 after three.
Just when the game seemed in heavy favor for the hose Barons, the Bethany trio of Schiffer, Brendan Wessells (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) and Lamont Sweeny (Columbia, Md./Reservoir) helped the Bison battle back, outscoring Franciscan 8-0 over the first 12 minutes of the final frame.
Wessells scored all four of his goals in the fourth quarter of play, collecting his first just briefly after the start of the frame. After Schiffer tallied a goal less than a minute later, Wessells added his second of the game with 10:46 to play In regulation.
Sweeny then tallied back-to-back goals, one off an assist from Schiffer, cutting the Baron’s lead to 10-9. Wessells would add two more scores in the run with Schiffer’s third score stuck in between. Wessells final goal came with 2:48 to play in the contest, giving Bethany a 12-10 lead.
The lead was not meant to last, however, as Franciscan notched the last three goals of the game, including the game winner by Mark Hanlon with 12 seconds to play, sending the Bison home with a 13-12 defeat.
Offensively, Schiffer and Wessells led the way for the Green & White. Schiffer tallied the second hat trick of his career, while notching a career-high six points in the game. With his totals, he finished the year with 19 points, registering four multi-point games on the season.
Playing in his final contest in a Bison uniform, Wessells notched his third four-goal game of the season. He completed the 2015 campaign by totaling 22 goals, 10 assists and 32 points.
With the decision, the Bison finished their year with a 4-12 record, which included one victory in conference play in their first year with the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference. Holland, who tallied a goal in the game, was Bethany’s leading scorer, finishing the campaign with a Bethany record 57 points (23 goals/33 assists.