Mt. Vernon, IA -- The Beloit College Men's Lacrosse team used a big second half to win what was virtually a "play-in" game, defeating Cornell College 18-7 Saturday for a spot in next week's Midwest Lacrosse Conference Tournament.
The Buccaneers, making their second straight trip to the Tournament, get the #4 seed and will play #1-seed and three-time defending Tournament Champion Aurora University in the semifinals on Wednesday at Aurora. A start time is to be announced.
Liam O'Connor (Casey Bulmer) got Beloit on top 10 seconds into the game Saturday before Cornell tied it up a minute later. Luke Bankord and Michael Boyland scored back-to-back at 9:05 and 5:05 to give the Bucs a 3-1 lead after one quarter. O'Connor (Boyland) made it 4-1 at 13:26 of the second period before the Rams broke the run with two straight goals. The Buccaneers countered with three straight scores - from Nick Meisberger, O'Connor (Matt Lee) and Mike Spencer - to make it 7-3. Cornell scored three seconds before halftime to make it a 7-4 game at the break.
Beloit took control in the third quarter, out-scoring the Rams 7-2 for a commanding 14-6 advantage. Third-period goals came from Lee, Luke Thomson, Matt Kelly (Meisberger), O'Connor, Boyland (Ed Smith), Boyland, and Tanner James. The Bucs kept up the pressure in the fourth period, getting goals from Meisberger, Meisberger (O'Connor), O'Connor, and Bankord to clinch their Tourney spot.
Trevor Kenahan made eight saves in goal for the win and had seven ground balls. Chris Anderson also had seven ground balls while Jake Wallace had six. Anderson, Wallace and Thomson each had two caused turnovers.