The College of Wooster men's lacrosse team held a 5-1 lead early in the second period, but an 11-6 scoring edge over the latter 37 minutes, including a 4-0 run to close the first half lifted rival Wittenberg University to a 12-11 victory on Saturday afternoon at Springfield, Ohio.
The Scots went into the final period with a one-goal lead after being tied at halftime and up three after the opening period. Junior Joe Altieri opened the game's scoring just over two minutes in to move into double-digit scoring figures on the year before doubling down with his second of the game nearly 10 minutes later.
With 1:20 remaining, Peirce, who remains third on the team in points (37), made it a 3-1 advantage off the assist from Altieri. Senior Ian Brim and Peirce increased the lead to 5-1 midway through the second before Wittenberg rattled off four straight to end the half as part of a larger 5-0 run for the Tigers (5-8, 3-4 NCAC).
The Scots leveled the score at 6-6 at the 12:30 mark in the third period after senior Noah Parker won the ensuing faceoff and groundball before dishing to Altieri, who then found Peirce for the game-tying goal just 10 seconds later.
Sophomore Cullen Kuhn and older brother Sam Kuhn went back-to-back as part of a mini 3-0 run to give the Scots an 8-6 lead with 10:24 left in the third. From there, the Tigers rattled off three of the next five goals as Wooster held onto a 10-9 lead through 45 minutes of play.
In the fourth, Peirce again went unassisted – his second lone tally – just under two minutes into the final frame. The Tigers responded less than a minute later, however, to cut the lead to one before six minutes of scoreless play ensued.
After a Wooster turnover at the 6:47 mark, Wittenberg cleared and scored the tying goal just over 40 seconds later. First-year Ted Wells put Wooster's first shot since Wittenberg's last goal nearly two minutes later before the Tigers cleared successfully and scored the game-winner on the next possession.
Sam Kuhn fired two shots on frame in the game's final 1:20, but the Scots could not convert as Wittenberg clinched a key NCAC contest.
Sophomore goalkeeper Wesley Wagner tied his season-best with 15 saves, while senior Jack Gilio scooped up a team-high five groundballs and junior Ethan Scully churned out a game-high five caused turnovers.
Up next, Wooster hosts No. 12 Ohio Wesleyan University (11-2, 5-0 NCAC) on Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m.