VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team defeated Guilford, 12-9, Saturday afternoon at Birdsong Field. With the victory, the Marlins improve to 9-7 on the year and move to 4-5 in conference play. The Quakers fall to 7-8 on the season (1-8 ODAC).
Before the game the team honored its lone senior, Philip Venanzi, for Senior Day.
The Marlins' Greg Gaetano netted the first goal of the game, cashing in a Jason Thibeault pass at the 11:43 mark. Guilford answered with one of their own 30 seconds later, but Joey Rayman and Andrew Johnson would increase the lead to 3-1 before the midway point. Guilford closed out the period strong though, scoring three to take a 4-3 lead into quarter two. Roles reversed in this stanza with the Marlins scoring three and the Quakers one to give the home side a one-goal advantage heading into halftime.
In the third, it was dead even as both teams netted a pair of goals to keep the differential the same. Mirroring the third, the Marlins tagged Guilford for two to start the fourth and Guilford looked like it was going to come back again but goals from Rayman and Johnson helped nullify any chance of a comeback.
Scoring was spread out with nine different Marlins tallying a goal. Nathan Sheirburn, Rayman and Johnson all registered two while Jon Onia, Brady Morrison, Cole Maguire, Thomas Potter, Greg Gaetano and Dante Castillo all notched one. Thibeault would also make his mark on the scoresheet, producing a pair of helpers.
Nathan Sheirburn absolutely dominated the faceoff 'X' winning 19 of his 22 attempts. The effort put him just seven wins away from the Virginia Wesleyan all-time season record, held by Drew Smythers in 2007. His production also led to nine ground balls which moves him up to fifth-most in a season for a Marlin.
Kyle Leeming spent the duration of the game between the pipes for VWU, stopping 11 Guilford shots.
Men's lacrosse will return to action at 4 p.m. on Saturday as the team travels to Randolph-Macon for the regular season finale.