BOONE, N.C. --- Sophomore Ryan Harrison (Lake Mary, Fla.) posted 22 saves, and Jeff White (Middle Township, N.J.) tallied three goals to pace the Lees-McRae College men's lacrosse team as the third-ranked Limestone College defeated the Bobcats by a score of 18-3 in Conference Carolinas play on Wednesday evening at Watauga High School.
Limestone (4-0, 1-0 CC) outshot Lees-McRae (0-6, 0-2 CC) by a 60-13 margin, including a 35-5 advantage in the first half, while converting 27-of-30 clears and scoring three goals on three man-up opportunities. The Saints won the battle on the ground by a 46-34 margin, as the Bobcats converted 21-of-26 clear attempts.
White scored each of the Bobcats' three goals, pushing his season total to nine, as Benjamin Shifflett (Clemmons, N.C.) scooped up seven ground balls. White and Harrison each recorded six ground balls, while Harrison made a season-high 22 saves in one of his best performances as a member of the Bobcats.
Kyle Rhatigan led the way for Limestone with four goals, as Riley Loewen and Reid Reinholdt each tallied a trio of assists. Corey Rich added three goals and one assist, as Todd Nakasuji and Loewen each scored two goals. Loewon also posted a game-high eight ground balls for the Saints.
The Bobcats battled for each and every ball throughout the game, as Harrison made seemingly countless saves to keep the Saints off the scoreboard for long stretches of play. The Lees-McRae defense played perhaps its best game of the season against one of the top teams in the nation, adopting a tough, physical style to limit the Saints' scoring chances.
Limestone would open the scoring with two goals inside the first minute, taking advantage of a non-releasable penalty on the Bobcats to claim an early 2-0 lead. After the Saints pushed the margin to 5-0 on Rhatigan's first strike of the game, White answered for the Bobcats at the 3:40 mark to cut the lead to 5-1.
The Saints would add a late strike in the first and three in the second, taking a 9-1 lead into the intermission following a goal by Connor DeVore with 3:27 left in the half. White responded for the Bobcats at the 3:46 mark of the third quarter, tallying his second of the night to trim the margin to 12-2. The sophomore recorded his third of the evening midway through the final quarter to cap the scoring for the Bobcats.
Lees-McRae returns to action on Thursday, March 7 when the Bobcats host Dominican University of California at 6 p.m.
- LMC -