VIRGINIA BEACH -- A dynamic duo is quietly becoming a terrific trio.
Opponents of Virginia Wesleyan College's men's lacrosse team have known for awhile that the Marlins boast a high powered offense charged by the impressive scoring moves of senior Nick Pappas (Edgewater, Md./South River) and sophomore Josh Currier (Peterborough, Ontario/Holy Name-Hill Academy). The 1-2 scoring punch ranks among the best in the nation.
But, that 1-2 punch just might becoming a 1-2-3 attack. Junior Mike Moran (Woolwich, N.J./Kingsway Regional) is emerging as a third threat at the net and helped Virginia Wesleyan to an impressive 21-8 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) victory over Bridgewater College's Eagles on Saturday on Foster Field at the Trinder Center.
Moran fired in four goals, increasing his season output to 21. It was his third outing with four or more goals this season and his seventh straight game with at least two goals tallied.
Currier led the Marlins (6-3, 2-2 ODAC) with five goals and three assists, and Pappas followed with four goals and four assists. Currier and Pappas, ranked No. 2 and 3 respectively in the nation in points per game, each added eight points to their totals. Pappas leads the Marlins with 34 goals and 21 assists and Currier has recorded 21 goals and 26 assists.
Bridgewater (5-5, 0-3 ODAC) took the lead twice in the early minutes as Sam Cheplick (Falls Church/McLean) and Chris Voorhees (Brookeville, Md./Sherwood) scored in the first seven minutes to push the Eagles in front 2-1.
Virginia Wesleyan wasted little time in grabbing the lead for good however, as Currier scored his first goal of the game 30 seconds after Voorhees' goal, making it 2-all. Junior Tim Gunn (Sparks, Md./Hereford) put the Marlins in front 3-2 at the 5:33 mark of the first quarter and Moran came through with his second goal a quick nine seconds later.
Thomas Maher (Shirley, N.Y./Longwood) answered for the Eagles to make it a 4-3 score, but the Eagles were never able to tie or jump ahead thereafter. Virginia Wesleyan tacked on the final two goals of the first quarter and the first two of the second quarter to start pulling away. Five Marlins scored in the second quarter as Virginia Wesleyan outscored Bridgewater 7-2 to open up a 13-5 halftime lead.
Maher tallied to bring the Eagles within seven goals to start the third quarter, only to see Virginia Wesleyan scored five of the next six to take an 18-7 lead into the fourth. Rookie Andre Brummit (Baltimore, Md./Glen Burnie North County) scored the first two goals of the quarter for the Marlins and junior John Roth (Merrick, N.Y./Calhoun) scored another as VWC led 21-7 with less than four minutes to play.
Virginia Wesleyan's opportunities to get to the net were due in part to a strong day in the face-off circle for the Marlins, who won 21-of-33 battles. Rookie Jason Tutchon (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter) came up with the ball 13 times, senior James Alvarez (Fairfax/Robinson) recorded seven wins, and seniorJake Schulz (Jacksonville, N.C./White Oake) won one.
Daniles and Maher led Bridgewater's goal production with two each, while Matthew Arndt (Vienna/James Madison) and Daniels recorded two assists each.
JuniorRory Finnegan (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) started in goal for Virginia Wesleyan and recorded eight saves in 51+ minutes. Ryan Sullivan (Owings, Md./Northern) and Sean Galloway (Shady Side, Md./Southern) both followed with minutes.
Sophomore Andrew Buss (Severna Park, Md./Archbishop Spalding) played in front of the goal for Bridgewater for the opening two minutes, but was replaced by rookie Conor Lawson (Severna Park, Md./Mount St. Joseph) after being hit in the chest by a shot. He was taken to a local hospital for observation. Lawson was impressive in relief, recorded 18 saves.
Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Tuesday, April 8, in non-conference play at 3 p.m. at Ferrum College.