MACON, Ga. (School Release) - Freshman goalie Mike Nugent tied a program single-game record with 18 saves, but his efforts weren't enough to stop the High Point men's lacrosse team from earning a 12-10 comeback win over Mercer on Sunday afternoon at the Moye Lacrosse Complex.
Mercer's fourth-straight loss dropped the team to 3-6 on the season while High Point snapped a three-game losing streak and moved to 3-8.
Sophomore midfielder Timmy Geran got the Bears off to a quick start, netting a pair of goals in the opening 5:13 of play to help Mercer take an early 2-0 advantage. With three minutes left before halftime, freshman attackman Chris Baxa scored his fourth goal of the half to put Mercer in front 7-3.
High Point got some momentum going when sophomore attackman Matt Thistle found the net with 1:07 to play before halftime, sparking a 4-0 scoring run for the Panthers in the final 67 seconds of the half. The intermission did little to cool the red-hot High Point offense, as the Panthers got another score from freshman attackman Dan Lomas just 44 seconds into the third quarter to take their first lead of the game at 8-7.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the teams were deadlocked at 10-10 when thunderstorm clouds crept into the area. Thistle netted his second goal of the game at the 12:07 juncture, and four minutes later the game was suspended due to the threat of lightning.
After a 45 minute delay, the teams returned to the field and played evenly until Lomas scored with 5:45 to go to place the visitors in front, 12-10. Mercer posted three more shots before the final whistle, but couldn't convert any of the attempts.
Nugent's 18 saves equaled his season high and marked the fourth time in Mercer history a goalie has recorded 18 stops. In the first half alone, Nugent registered 12 stops while facing 19 shots on goal.
Baxa finished with five points on four goals and an assist. He also tallied four ground balls in the losing effort. Junior midfielder Justin Evans won 11-of-26 face-offs and collected a team-high eight ground balls.
Mercer returns to action hosting Air Force on April 6. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.