Westminster men's lacrosse made it difficult for No. 16 ranked Colorado Mesa. The Griffins were first to score and held the lead three minutes into the second half. The Mavericks took the lead and Westminster tied it 9-9 then at 12-12 with 9:07 remaining. The Mavericks scored the game-winner with 25 seconds.
Westminster started the game with a 7-1 run. Brad Belasco scored a hat-trick in the opening seven minutes to give the Griffins a 3-0 lead. Goals from Lane Kadish, Thomas Sarjeant and Chance Beutler increased the lead to 7-1. Sarjeant completed a hat-trick, and Westminster ended the half with a one-point lead, 8-7.
Mesa outscored Westminster, 4-1, in the third period and scored a fifth goal two minutes into the fourth quarter. The Griffins responded with three goals and tied the game, 12-12, with 9:07 remaining. The game looked like it was heading into overtime, but Mesa managed to score the game-winner with 25 seconds left on the clock.
Westminster's defense deserves a lot of credit keeping the game close. Mesa out-shot Westminster, 59 to 27, but only managed 25 on goal. Conner McFarlane made 12 saves and recorded a .480 save percentage.
Chase Flinders was 2-of-4 on faceoffs, picked up six ground balls and scored a goal. Troy Vance scored a goal, gathered four ground balls and caused two turnovers. Grant Phillips caused five turnovers and picked up two ground balls, and Kyle Williams picked up three ground balls and caused four turnovers.
Sarjeant, Belasco and Jacob Taylor led the team with three points each. Sarjeant shot four times and scored three times. Belasco shot six and scored three, and Taylor scored two goals and assisted one.
"We had some outstanding performances today," head coach Mason Goodhand said. "McFarlane was solid in the cage, and Belasco really came to play and got our offense rolling.
"I saw one of the best performances by a long pole in Flinders, and co-captain Tom Sarjeant had one of his all-around best games directing a highly effective attack effort."
Westminster plays at the University of Utah on Friday at 7 p.m., and hosts Johnson and Wales (Colorado) on Saturday at 2 p.m. Saturday's game will be broadcast on the RMAC Network, and live stats will be available online. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate prior to the game.
Eric Stephens is the Director of Athletic Communications and Events for Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Westminster is a provisional member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division II level.