March 4th, 2013

Bellarmine faces off against Detroit Mercy

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Paul Najjar

Senior Writer


Bellarmine faces off against Detroit Mercy
Bellarmine midfielder and St. Xavier grad Reid Wesley / photo from bellarmine.edu

Knights ready to bounce back performance against Titans

The Bellarmine University lacrosse team traveled to Baltimore last Saturday and dropped a gut-wrenching 8-6 decision to defending national champion and current No. 4-ranked Loyola. The loss dropped the Knights to 3-1 on the season and they have a quick 48-hour turnaround to get ready for Tuesday’s tilt against Detroit Mercy at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium.

Amidst intermittent snow showers, the Knights battled the Greyhounds play-for-play but could not match Loyola shot-for-shot.

“To be honest with you, we played our worst game of the season and we had plenty of scoring opportunities in that game,” said Bellarmine head coach Kevin Burns, a Loyola alum. “We just couldn’t finish around the goal. Things that we never do wrong in practice we did wrong in that game. The guys were really fired up, but we just didn’t execute as well as we have in the past.”

The Knights were outshot 45-26, but senior goalie Dillon Ward turned aside 16 of those shots, and Burns was very impressed by his defensive unit.

“This could be one of the best things that happen to us all year long,” Burns said. “Our defense was outstanding and we took away a lot of what they wanted to do. And Dillon was phenomenal. But, we made some mistakes on offense that are easily correctable and we know we can compete with a team like that. Our goal is clear: We want to make the ECAC playoffs but add that we could have an opportunity to see that team again, and that gives us even more incentive.”

For the Knights, it was a golden chance to gain a bit more credibility with the national lacrosse audience. Burns, his staff and his team are ready to dispel the naysayers with solid, consistent performances game-by-game. He wants his team to play all-out, full-speed all the time. He calls that style “thriving in the chaos.”

Senior Mikey Ward, who grew up just 30 minutes from the Loyola campus in Ellicott City, Md., scored three goals and senior Will Cary, a Louisville Collegiate grad, notched two. Senior playmaker Karsen Leung dished out three assists.

But now the Knights focus their attention to Detroit Mercy, a team that is looking for its first win of the season after losing to Ohio State, Navy, Robert Morris and Quinnipiac. Bellarmine defeated Robert Morris 9-8 on the road in its season opener, while Detroit Mercy lost at Robert Morris 9-5.

The Titans have scored 30 goals, but they’ve allowed 46, an average of 11.5 goals per game.

“We can beat anybody in the country, but we know we can be beaten by anybody in the country,” said Burns. “We’ve worked hard the past two days to fix those problems and we know Mercy brings some good offensive talent. They play a bit of an unstructured style so we’ll have to be aware of the unpredictability that that brings, but we’re looking forward to the competition.”

Bellarmine and Detroit Mercy face off at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and you can watch the live webstream of the broadcast at www.louisvillecatholicsports.com.

 

 

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