IRVING, TEXAS -- The Trine University men's lacrosse team shut out its opponent in the first half while scoring 14 goals en route to a convincing, 24-7, win against the University of Dallas in a non-conference game in Irving, Texas.
The Thunder took 65 total shots in the game, with 46 on net, and dominated on faceoffs, winning 30 out of 35 attempts.
Individually, junior Justin Gearig (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) led the team in goals and total points with four goals to go along with three assists for seven points on the night. Six other players scored multiple goals, including the duo of freshman Austin Lindell (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) and senior Neil Orr (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) who both scored three goals.
Four players finished the game with a pair of goals in senior Eric Peal (Imperial, Mo./Seckman), sophomores Jarod Schepp (Oconomowoc, Wis./Kettle Moraine), Tyler Corless (St. Clair Shores, Mich./De La Salle) and freshman Matt Zanichelli (Rolling Meadows, Ill./William Fremd). Six other players each recorded a goal in the win.
Senior Conner Putman (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield) led all players in assists with four and also added a goal for five total points. Gearig and sophomore Brennan Battle (Lowell, Mich./Lowell) both had three assists and senior Daniel William Shine (Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech College Prep) had two assists.
Trine (2-0) scored nine goals in the first quarter, beginning with the game's first score at the 13:42 mark when senior Alex Jamieson (Harland, Wis./Arrowhead) found the back of the net with an unassisted goal. Two players tallied multiple goals in the period in Peal, who scored the team's third and fourth goals, and Gearig who struck at the 8:05 and 5:24 minute marks as the Thunder led by a sizeable, 9-0, margin after the first 15 minutes.
Orr registered the final goal of the first period and then the first goal of period number two, both markers were assisted by Shine, that increased the margin to 10-0. Orr's goal in the second was one of five additional Trine goals with Gearig scoring his final two goals of the game before the end of the half which ballooned to a 14-0 advantage heading into the locker rooms.
In the third quarter, Dallas (2-4) finally got on the board with a goal at the 13:32 mark to make it a 14-1 game. Trine then responded with seven straight goals that included a pair of goals by Zanichelli and Corless during the run that extended the Thunder lead to 21-1. The Crusaders then tallied a late goal with eight seconds remaining in the period to make the score 21-2 heading into the final quarter.
Dallas tallied five of the combined eight goals in the fourth quarter, but Trine already had the game well in hand as Putman and sophomores Brandon Matuszczak (Hoffman Estates, Ill./William Fremd) and Jared Turner (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) added goals to round out the scoring for the Thunder for the 24-7 final.
Trine accumulated 62 ground balls with junior Brent Farrugia (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) leading the way with nine. Sophomore Dave Keptner (Midland, Mich./H.H. Dow) was second with seven ground balls and senior Max Harris (Green Bay, Wis./Green Bay Southwest) and freshman Quin Kubiak (Chicago, Ill./St. Francis) both added six ground balls.
Three goalkeepers saw playing time for Trine in the game with junior Joseph Steigmeyer (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) getting the start and played the first 15 minutes allowing no goals and had two saves. Sophomore Anthony Marasco (Naperville, Ill./Nequa Valley) played 30 minutes and tallied three saves, while giving up just two goals. Senior Chris Shuster (Medina, Ohio/Medina) played the final 15 minutes and had one save with five goals allowed.
Trine is scheduled to host North Central (Ill.) College next Tuesday, Mar. 12 at Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium in the home opener. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.