The score of the box
BIRMINGHAM, Michigan — Despite jumping to a 9-4 lead after the first quarter, the VMI lacrosse team was unable to sustain momentum as host Detroit Mercy rallied to score 12 quarterback goals and allowed just two more VMI scores en route to a 16-11 win over VMI on Saturday afternoon at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan.
With the loss, VMI drops to 2-4 on the season while the Titans won for the first time this season to move to 1-4.
Scout Ripley put VMI on the board first with an unassisted goal after 30 seconds of play and Michael Santos scored another at 10:52. Detroit Mercy replied with a goal seconds later as Brett Erskine penetrated the VMI defense for the Titans’ first score.
The Keydets then led a 7-0 run in the six minutes after the first half with an attacking explosion as Aidan Riley, Luc Rusterucci (twice), Hartley Jordan, Thomas Williamson and AJ Stamos scored seven unanswered goals to give the Keydets a 9-1 advantage at 3:58 of the first quarter.
“Today is part of the learning process for the team,” the VMI head coach said. James Purpura. “We came out and had success early on, but we weren’t able to stop their growing momentum throughout the game. We turned the ball over too many times and allowed Detroit to get back into it. We didn’t play free lacrosse and credited Detroit they never stopped fighting and found a way to win in the fourth quarter We’ll keep learning and can’t wait to get back on the field again training tomorrow.”
The Titans responded with three goals in the final three minutes of the period to slow the bleeding and give Detroit Mercy momentum for the rest of the game. Detroit added two more goals early in the second quarter before Scout Ripley scored again for VMI to make it 10-6 in favor of the Keydets with 4:10 remaining before halftime. VMI finally entered the break with an 11-8 advantage after a goal from Luc Mrynza and two more for Detroit.
Detroit Mercy then scored eight goals throughout the second half while limiting VMI’s scoring opportunities and held the Keydets scoreless through the final two quarters.
Erskine went on to score six goals for the Titans while Ryan Birney had four and Luke Majick had two for Detroit.
The Keydets remain on the road for the next few days as they travel to face Monmouth University on Tuesday afternoon. Faceoff is scheduled for a 1 p.m. departure in West Long Branch, New Jersey.