WINGATE, N.C.----Wingate junior attack Billy Mutton had three goals and two assists as the Bulldogs picked up a thrilling 12-11 NCAA Division II lacrosse victory over Lees-McRae College Saturday at Irwin Belk Stadium and John R. Martin Field on the Wingate campus.
Wingate is 4-7 overall, while Lees-McRae falls to 3-4 overall.
Mutton was not a one-man gang. Sophomore attack David Lee had three goals. Freshman attack Colin O'Donoghue had two goals and two assists, while sophomore midfield Bryan Bayliss contributed two goals.
For Lees-McRae, senior attack Brandon Marks found the back of the nets four times to lead all goal scorers Saturday. Bobcat sophomore attack Danny Ives had three goals, while senior midfield Landon Young added one goal and a team-best two assists.
The two teams were tied 1-1 after one quarter. The second quarter was wild, as Wingate outscored Lees-McRae 7-5 to take an 8-6 lead into the halftime. Bayliss and Mutton tallied unassisted goals in the final minute of the second stanza to break a 6-6 tie, the final deadlock of the day.
Marks scored the only goal of the third frame (4:38), pulling the Conference Carolinas visitors within one at 8-7. O'Donoghue opened the fourth quarter by sandwiching his two goals around an Ives score to put Wingate up 10-8 with 14:21 to play in the contest.
Lee tallied an unassisted goal at the 12:30 mark, giving Wingate its biggest lead of the day at 11-8. Ives posted his final goal at the 6:55 plateau to cut the LMC deficit to 11-9. Lee had the response as he scored his team-best 21st goal of the season with 5:24 to go on an assist from O'Donoghue. Marks (4:09) and Young (1:26) closed out the Bobcat scoring to make things very interesting. Young assisted on the Marks' score.
Wingate outshot Lees-McRae 37-31. The Bobcats dominated the face-off statistics, as LMC won 18-of-26 play starters. LMC midfield Ryan Sparks won 11-of-16 face-offs, while sophomore midfield Derin Vacca posted seven-of-10 face-off victories. Vacca had eight ground balls, while Sparks recorded seven pick-ups.
Bulldog sophomore goalkeeper Danny Dlugozima played 60 minutes Saturday. He allowed 11 goals and recorded nine saves. Two Lees-McRae net minders split time. Bobcat junior goalie Mike Fahey posted five saves and surrendered eight goals. Classmate Andy Nesdill had three saves. He gave up four goals.
The Bobcats hit the road again Saturday, visiting Conference Carolinas foe Belmont Abbey College for a 3 p.m. game.