By Luke Christiansen
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Fueled by a career-high four goals from senior Joshua Neilson on Senior Day, the Southern Virginia University men's lacrosse team defeated visiting Bethany College, 13-3, to conclude the 2014 season Saturday afternoon at The Fields in Buena Vista, Va.
The Knights struck first in the second quarter when Cody Pennington found Garrett Maw for a man up goal. The Bison responded with a goal from senior Travis Granich, but were silenced by a four-goal run by Southern Virginia to conclude the half with a 7-1 advantage.
More than 10 minutes into the second half, Bethany added its second goal of the game from senior Dylan Radwanski. The Knights quickly responded by scoring six unanswered goals to cement the victory, 13-3, and earn their first victory as an NCAA Division III lacrosse program.
"This was a great way to conclude our season," said Southern Virginia head coach Jason Lamb. "Our guys showed a lot of character throughout this year. I'm very excited about the direction of the program and the change in attitude and confidence we displayed over the past two months."
Southern Virginia outshot Bethany by a 33-28 ratio while Bethany won the ground ball battle, 32-31. The Knights earned seven of 18 faceoffs with sophomore Marcel Blake taking six.
Neilson scored four goals on the afternoon, giving him eight goals on the season. Freshman Nash Wilkey added three goals to finish the season with a team-high 19 for the year. Garrett Maw and Mike Bangerter added two goals and three assists apiece, while Jacob Lamb and Cody Pennington each added a goal.
Travis Granich led the Bison with two goals, while Kyle Lehosit earned 11 of 17 faceoffs. CJ Studnicky registered nine saves in the cage for Bethany.
Tyler Cox registered six saves on the afternoon as the goalkeeper for the Knights, giving him 175 on the season.