Despite trailing 8-6 in the late stages of the third quarter, the Hiram College men's lacrosse team scored eight, unanswered goals to defeat Adrian College, 14-8, on Saturday afternoon.
Walland one-upped his career-best performance in the win, posting his second-straight hat trick while scoring a career-high four goals. McNeal tallied the first hat trick of his career on just three shots, while Dionne bested a career high with five assists, finishing with seven total points.
The Terriers opened the game in a fury, scoring three of the first four goals of the afternoon. Junior Jaret Walland tallied the first tally on an assist from Justin Dionne less than a minute into the action.
Just under six minutes later, senior Alex Meehan went the length of the field on a clear before finding freshman Gage St. Leon. Leon finished in front of the net to give Hiram a 2-0 lead.
Following a Bulldogs score from Fernando Rodriguez, Hiram responded as Dionne and Walland once again found each other. This time it was Walland picking up the assist as Dionne buried a shot from 15-yards out to put the Terriers up 3-1.
Adrian would respond before the end of the quarter as Rodriguez tallied the final to goals of the frame. He first scored with 6:31 to play in the quarter, before adding his third just 45 seconds later to tie the game at 3-3.
In the second stanza, the Bulldogs once again put up a three spot, while Hiram snagged a pair of goals. Adrian took their first lead of the game on a goal by Grant Nesbitt, before Walland responded with his second goal of the afternoon to once again tie the game.
Adrian's Morgan Caldwell once again put the Bulldogs ahead with 7:24 to play in the half on the only unassisted score of the first 30 minutes.
The Bulldogs, however, would get the final score of the half thanks to a man-up opportunity with under 30 seconds to play. Kyle Sanderson provided the tally with 14 seconds to go in the half and Adrian would go into the break leading 6-5.
Adrian posted a fast start to the third quarter, scoring their seventh goal of the game in just seven seconds as face-off man Max Leventis beat the Terrier defense to the net. Just three minutes later, Rodriguez found the back of the net again, scoring in a man-up advantage to push the lead to two. That, however, would be the Bulldogs final tally.
The Terriers gained their momentum back in the final 10 seconds of the third quarter, as junior Horace Johnson turned defense into offense, starting a fast-break in which he found an open Dionne. Dionne then dished off to St. Leone, who beat the keep, with four tics remaining on the clock to cut the lead to 8-7.
At the start of the fourth, a one-minute, unreleasable, penalty was assessed to the Bulldogs due to improper equipment.
The Terriers immediately took advantage, as Walland and Tim Stucky both found the back of the net in the first minute, giving Hiram a 9-8 lead. Dionne assisted on Walland's goal, while Liam Pinney got into the point column with the assist to Stucky.
From that point on the final frame was all Hiram. The Terriers outshot Adrian 12-1 in the last 15 minutes, while senior Alex Meehan won all seven face-off attempts. Hiram also held an 8-1 advantage in ground balls and forced five Bulldog turnovers.
Offensively, Hiram would tack on five more goals, as Walland found his fourth and was followed by an unassisted goal by McNeal (his third). Stucky then scored back-to-back goals for his third hat trick of the season. Dionne then finished off the scoring, giving him a team-high seven points on the night.
Along with the offense, the defense played well, particularly in the final stage, to help Hiram grab just their second three-game winning streak in program history.
Junior goalie Liam Osborne snagged his third win on the season, totaling 11 saves.
Hiram will look to improve to 4-0 on the year when they play host to Alfred State on Saturday, March 9. Game time at Charles A. Henry Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.