VIRGINIA BEACH -- Josh Currier and Nick Pappas lived up to their preseason All-American status on Saturday, providing Virginia Wesleyan College's men's lacrosse team with a 1-2 scoring punch that helped carry the Marlins to a 19-10 victory over previously undefeated Elizabethtown College on Foster Field at the Trinder Center.
Currier (Petersborough, Ontario/Holy Cross-Hill Academy) scored a career-high six goals and Pappas (Edgewater, Md./South River) added four goals and a career-high five assists. Pappas tallied nine points, tying the fourth-high single-game total in VWC history and his own career high.
But, the Virginia Wesleyan (3-0) was team-wide, as seven Marlins scored goals and four provided assists. It was all backed by an aggressive defensive effort that kept Elizabethtown (2-1) out of rhythm. GoalieRory Finnegan (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) led the "D," stopping 10 shots. Sophomore Sean Galloway (Shady Side, Md./Southern) played the last five minutes in front of the goal and recorded one save.
Face-off success played a big part in the win as the Marlins controlled the ball and were able to attack consistently. The Marlins won 22 face-off battles, with rookieJason Tutchon (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter) taking 12 and juniorSam Limpert (Magnolia, Del./Caesar Rodney) coming up with 10.
Another factor was dominating ground balls. The Marlins scooped up 61, the sixth highest total in VWC history and the highest total since 2009 when VWC recorded 63 against Maryland's Hood College. Pappas, Currier, Tutchon, and Limpert led the way with seven grounders each.
The Marlins set the tone early when Tutchon found junior Mike Moran (Woolwich, N.J./Kingsway Regional) open for a goal with just eight seconds expired. A minute later it was a 2-0 VWC lead as Pappas connected with Currier for the goal. VWC rode that lead to the 4:37 mark of the first quarter when Pappas scored unassisted.
Elizabethtown averted a scoreless quarter when Jason Clough (Berwyn, Pa./Friends' Central School) scored off a pass from Dan Bednarik (Glenmoore, Pa./Dowingtown West) at the 4:08 mark. But, VWC took it back to lead 4-1 at the end of the quarter after junior Devynn Kelly (Harwood, Md./Southern) scored unassisted.
Virginia Wesleyan broke it open in the second quarter, outscoring the Blue Jays 6-2. Currier recorded three goals, Pappas had two, and Moran provided the other as the Marlins entered halftime with a 10-3 lead.
Goals 24 seconds apart in the first two minutes of the third quarter gave VWC a nine-goal lead, as Joe Papetti (Edgewater, Md./South River) and Currier goaled for the Marlins. Virginia Wesleyan posted its largest lead at 18-6 with 6:32 remaining in the contest, as Tutchon connected with rookieAndrew Brummit (Baltimore, Md./Glen Burnie North County) for that goal that made it a 12-goal difference.
Rookie Josh Davis (Salem/Salem), Kelly, Papetti, and Moran all recorded two goals for the Marlins. Tutchon finished with three assists.
Jimmy Waters (Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson), Russ LeClair (Elkridge, Md./Mount St. Joseph), and Clough led Elizabethtown with two goals each. Joe Clark (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) provided the Jays with three assists. Chris Wenger (Kingsville, Md./Loyola Blakefield) and Adam Moore (Norwood, Pa./Interboro) shared goalie duties. Wenger recorded five saves and Moore finished with six.
Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Wednesday, March 12, in the annual Hampton Roads showdown with Christopher Newport University's Captains (4-1) at 7 p.m. on Foster Field at the Trinder Center.