ANGOLA, IND. -- Senior Eric Peal (Imperial, Mo./Seckman) and junior Justin Gearig (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) both scored twice, but it wouldn't be enough as the Trine University men's lacrosse team dropped a 16-6 decision against Hope (Mich.) College in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener for the Thunder at Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium in Angola, Ind.
In addition to Peal and Gearig, two other Trine players scored goals in sophomore Tyler Corless (St. Clair Shores, Mich./De La Salle) and junior Tyler Klima (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) with one goal apiece. Corless also had a game-high three assists to lead the team in overall points with four (one goal and three assists). Gearig also tallied an assist to go along with his two goals to end the day with three total points.
In net, junior Joseph Steigmeyer (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) started the game, but ended up with the loss after allowing nine goals in 24:30 minutes and also had five saves. Sophomore Anthony Marasco (Naperville, Ill./Nequa Valley) came on to play the final 35:30 and gave up seven goals and tallied eight saves.
Gearig led the team in ground balls with five and was followed by a trio of players with four ground balls in Corless, Klima and sophomore Dave Keptner (Midland, Mich./H.H. Dow),
Both teams ended up scoring three goals in the first period, but it was Hope (8-3, 2-0 MIAA) who struck first with a marker just 25 seconds in to take an early 1-0 lead. Gearig recorded his first goal of the game just under the 11-minute mark when he found the back of the net on a man-advantage to even the game at 1-1. The goal was one of three straight scores by the Thunder (5-2, 0-1 MIAA) with Corless scoring his goal with 6:09 to play in the quarter and then Gearig scored again at the 5:03 mark to put Trine out ahead by a pair of goals, 3-1. But the Flying Dutchmen answered with two goals of their own to end the scoring in the frame and deadlock the teams at 3-3 after the first 15 minutes.
The second quarter saw Hope take a 7-3 advantage in the scoring column in the period that began with a Dutchmen goal just under a minute into play. In a repeat of the first quarter after giving up the first goal, Trine scored two straight goals with Peal getting two consecutive shots past the Hope netminder as Trine regained the lead, 5-4, with 12:12 remaining in the half. After three ensuing goals by Hope, Klima scored the sixth goal of the game for Trine on a "man-up" opportunity with under seven minutes to go and made it a 7-6 game. The Dutmen then ended the half with three more scores in the final 6:49 to take a 10-6 advantage into the break.
Hope continued to poor on the offense in the third quarter with five more goals. The Dutchmen padded its lead with scores at the 12:45, 9:53, 6:15, 5:11 and 4:12 minute marks to blow the game open with a 15-6 margin heading into the final period.
The lone score of the fourth quarter didn't come until the 7:21 mark when Hope tallied its final goal to end the scoring in the game and cruise to the 16-6 final.
Trine will travel to Albion, Mich. for a MIAA contest against Albion College on Tuesday, Apr. 9. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.