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Firebirds Set a Program Scoring Record but Fall Short, 18-17 in Season Opener vs. Ohio Valley

Hinton had a game-high six points on four goals and two assists.
Hinton had a game-high six points on four goals and two assists.

MORGANTOWN, WV – The University of the District of Columbia men's lacrosse team set a program record for goals in a game but fell one goal short, 18-17, in its season-opener Tuesday night vs. Ohio Valley University at Morgantown High School.

In a contest which tied for the highest combined scoring game (35 goals) in UDC's young program's four-year history, today's game featured seven ties and five lead changes.

The Firebirds (0-1) trailed by as many as four goals in the 3rd quarter, but they came storming back to take their first lead of the game, 15-14 at the 8:23 mark in the 4th quarter. Still ahead 16-15 with under seven minutes to play, UDC surrendered three straight goals to fall behind 18-16 around the 2:30 mark.

Junior midfielder LaRon Hinton then scored his team-leading 4th goal of the day on a man-down situation to bring the Firebirds within one with just under two minutes to play, and UDC junior midfielder Teilen Celentano won the ensuing faceoff to give UDC an opportunity to force a tie. Consecutive shot attempts by junior midfielder Syrrus Nash (four goals, five shots on goal) and Hinton were high and wide, respectively, and then UDC turned the ball over with just under a minute.

Twenty seconds later, though, freshman midfielder Connor Mosby forced one of his two caused turnovers on the day, and with possession and 30 seconds remaining, the Firebirds called timeout. Just five seconds out of the timeout, Celentano took a quick shot attempt that was saved by Fighting Scots goalkeeper Nehemiah Hofer (14 saves, 17 goals allowed), and Ohio Valley (1-0) held on for the one-goal victory.

Hinton tied for the game-high of six points as he finished the day with four goals and two assists while taking a game-high 10 shots and putting seven on goal. Sophomore attack Zach Hart added five points on four goals and one assist in his Firebird debut, and sophomore midfielder Tyler Mace pitched in with two goals and two assists.

Defensively, freshman midfielder Jose Leon had a game-high three caused turnovers, and seven other Firebirds added at least one as UDC totaled 12 for the day.

The Fighting Scots, meanwhile, were led offensively by two attack men, Drew Baden (five goals, one assist) and Keith Parkman (five goals, one assist). Midfielder Adam Dickson added two goals and a game-high four assists, and attack Hammond Jones pitched in two goals and three assists. Also, face-off specialist Zach Hermenau won 20-of-33 face-offs and collected a game-high nine ground balls.

UDC out-shot Ohio Valley 44-36 (31-26 SOG) and committed eight fewer turnovers (23-15); however, the Firebirds won only 14-of-36 faceoffs (including seven faceoff violations), had three failed clear attempts (12-of-15) to OVU's one (14-of-15), and lost the ground ball battle, 30-25.

Next up, the Firebirds visit Hampton University on Saturday, February 25th for a battle between NCAA Division I and II's only HBCU men's lacrosse programs in the nation.