Men's Lacrosse advances to semifinals of SAA Championship with 9-7 win over Hendrix

Peter Raffanti (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Peter Raffanti (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—After falling behind in the third quarter, the fourth-seeded Birmingham-Southern men's lacrosse team scored the final three goals of the game to win 9-7 against fifth-seeded Hendrix in the quarterfinals of the Southern Athletic Association Championship, Saturday afternoon on Battle Field at Panther Stadium.

The Panthers move to 9-7, while the Warriors fall to 7-10 to end the season. BSC and the other three top-seeded teams each hosted quarterfinal games today, with all four top seeds moving on to the semifinals, which will be played next weekend in Sewanee, Tenn. The Panthers will face the top-seeded Tigers, while No. 2 Centre will face No. 3 Berry.

The Warriors scored the opening goal of today's game in the first minute of play before the Panthers answered with five straight to go up 5-1 by the 13:24 mark of the second quarter. Hendrix responded with two goals to cut it to 5-3 before BSC senior Peter Raffanti scored the third of his four goals to extend the BSC lead to 6-3.

The Warriors rallied from behind, though, closing the lead to 6-5 before halftime, and then scoring twice to open the third quarter and take a 7-6 lead with 4:59 left in the third. The Panthers tied it back up less than two minutes later on a goal by sophomore Austin Hafdell, and the score remained knotted heading into the fourth quarter.

With 12:06 left in the game, freshman Sawyer Page scored the go-ahead goal for BSC, and the Panthers added an insurance goal with five minutes left when Raffanti found the net for the fourth time.

Raffanti led all players with four goals, while freshman McHale Schneider led with four assists. Freshman Thomas Grove led with eight ground balls and seven face-offs, and Raffanti also led with three caused turnovers. Junior goalkeeper Conor Perine recorded eight saves.