Joseph Marvin: Assistant Sports Information Director
MONTREAT, N.C. – The Brevard College Tornados Men's Lacrosse team (1-0) opened its 2019 campaign with a resounding 17-10 victory over mountain foe Montreat College to kick off the Jim Fritz-era at Brevard College.
Senior attacker Hewitt Farr christened the 2019 season with a career-performance, tallying a career-high eight goals while passing for an assist, for a total of nine points. Wednesday evening's scoring output surpassed Farr's former career mark of four goals set numerous times over the course of his first three seasons as a BC Tornado. Farr's performance was extremely efficient, as the attacker let 11 shots fly, with nine reaching the goal, and eight scoring, translating to a 72.7% shot percentage and an outstanding 81.8% shot-on-goal percentage.
Farr's performance is tied for the most single-game goals in school history, as he now sits atop the Brevard College record books with teammate Jackson McKaig, who scored eight goals on February 14, 2018, against Emmanuel College.
"It was a great overall performance and a balanced team win," stated Head Coach Jim Fritz after his squad's 17-10 triumph. "Our team played up to its potential today, and it is very exciting to see the levels that we can reach this season as we have a lot of room to grow and get better. Our team did a great job of spreading goals around, and showed incredible resolve by withstanding several second-half runs by Montreat."
Peyton Mooney, who got the starting nod in goal, enjoyed a solid performance anchoring the Tornado defense. Mooney faced 21 total shots, recording 11 saves. The senior goalkeeper from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada earned his first start since an April 11, 2017 battle against Lees-McRae. Mooney's second-career victory came with contributions on both ends of the field, as he spurred the Tornado offense late with an 80-plus yard pass to Farr, who connected with the score. The assist marked the first of Mooney's career at Brevard College.
"Peyton's pass was a real turning point for us," added Coach Fritz. "It was a real highlight play for us, and gave us great momentum heading into the intermission."
Robert Kokal, a junior LSM from Monroe Township, N.J., scored the fourth goal of his career on Wednesday night while distributing an assist. Kokal, BC's ground ball leader in 2018, tallied a team-high seven ground balls on Wednesday evening, while also causing two turnovers.
Montreat's John Ferris led the Cavaliers with a three-goal performance. Montreat College midfielder Joshua Brown led all players with nine ground balls, while also recording a goal and an assist.
Both sides played to a 2-2 tie in a deadlocked first quarter. Both Kokal and Farr earned first-quarter goals, with McKaig and senior Jack Shade earning assists.
The second quarter proved tight as well, with McKaig and Evan Francois goals giving Brevard a 4-3 lead. In the final seconds of the quarter, Mooney's long across-the-field heave to Farr pushed Brevard's lead to 5-3 at the halftime intermission. Farr led all scorers with two goals at the break, and Francois' first-career goal helped BC earn a two-goal advantage.
Scoring for both sides picked up drastically in the second half of action. Led by Farr, Shade, and fellow senior Sean Pratt, the Tornados racked up six-unanswered goals to mount a seemingly comfortable 11-3 lead with 5:09 left in the third period.
The Cavaliers, who were not deterred by Brevard's scoring outburst, answered right back with four unanswered goals of their own to cut Brevard's lead to 11-7 heading into the fourth period.
Coach Fritz rallied his troops in the final stage of the contest, and a 6-3 Tornado scoring advantage in the fourth period helped Brevard prevail on the road, 17-10.
"Again, I am thrilled to have our first win under our belts," added Coach Fritz. "Our guys battled extremely hard and I can't wait to see what's in store as we move through our non-conference schedule and head into USA South play."
BC, following a 9-3 campaign in 2018, was recently picked to finish seventh in the USA South Conference via the Preseason Coaches' Poll. Brevard finished 2018 by going 5-2 against teams currently in the USA South.
The Tornados return to action this Saturday at the Ives-Lemel Field for a home-opening contest against Birmingham-Southern College, which serves as BSC's season-opening match. BC looks for revenge on BSC, as the Panthers prevailed 19-7 last season in Birmingham, Ala. The action is set to begin at 12 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
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