GAFFNEY, SC – The No. 9 Pfeiffer men’s lacrosse team (9-4, 2-2 CC) fell in its final regular season contest at No. 3 Limestone (13-1, 4-0) by a final score of 16-6. The Saints outscored Pfeiffer 11-3 in the second half and wrapped up the Conference Carolinas regular season crown. With the loss, Pfeiffer is the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Conference Tournament.
On a rain soaked afternoon, Limestone converted on 6-of-7 extra man opportunities en route to the clinching victory. Todd Nakasuji and Mike Messenger each scored four goals and handed out two assists, while Kyle Rhatigan finished with five points.
Pfeiffer was led by Derek Thomas who netted a hat trick and Spencer Allen added one goal and three assists. Hayden Kirk made 10 saves in net but dropped to 8-4 on the season.
Defense reigned in the first period as the team’s combined for just three goals. Limestone took the early advantage just one minute into the contest on Messenger’s first score. Thomas evened the game but the Saints had an answer 12 seconds later to regain the lead.
Messenger pushed the lead to 3-1 1:13 into the second period but Robert Hope cut the deficit to one 19 seconds later. Nkaksuji’s 26th goal of the year gave Limestone a 4-2 lead but again Pfeiffer had an answer. Thomas took a feed from Allen to again pull Pfeiffer within one score. Limestone netted the final goal of the half with 1:36 on the clock and went into the break with a 5-3 advantage.
Limestone pushed the lead to 6-3 early in the third quarter before Allen made the score 6-4 on an extra man goal. However, Pfeiffer would get no closer as the Saints rattled off eight straight goals. In the fourth quarter alone, Limestone converted with the man advantage on four separate occasions as they wrapped up the win.
Pfeiffer was whistled for seven penalties in the contest with six violations coming in the second half. Limestone committed just two penalties in the game.
The Saints won 14-of-24 face offs and forced the Falcons into 24 turnovers.
Pfeiffer now only has three days to prepare for the Conference Carolinas semifinals. The Falcons will look to avenge an early 11-10 overtime loss to Mount Olive when the Trojans host Pfeiffer on Wednesday. The winner takes on the winner of the Limestone vs. Belmont Abbey game in the championship on Sunday.