LAGRANGE, Ga. – The Huntingdon men's lacrosse team's goal of a second straight USA South Athletic Conference Tournament championship ended just short on Sunday.
The Hawks built a four-goal lead early in the second half but Piedmont rallied for an 11-10 win.
This was the first conference loss for the Hawks since the USA South began sponsoring men's lacrosse last season. Huntingdon had won 16 straight games against USA South teams in that span.
In Sunday's game, both teams traded leads for the first 20 minutes. Trailing 5-4, Huntingdon closed the first half with two goals from Seth Howe and two goals from Miles Stading to take an 8-5 lead into halftime.
Stading added another goal in the first two minutes of the third quarter to give the Hawks a 9-5 lead. But from there, the momentum swung to Piedmont. The Lions scored five straight goals to close the third quarter and open the fourth quarter and take a 10-9 lead.
Huntingdon tied the game with a goal from Austen Saucier to make it 10-10 with 7:17 to play, but Piedmont scored the go-ahead goal with 5:06 to play.
Huntingdon had opportunities but was unable to answer in the final minutes.
Stading finished with four goals, Saucier had three goals and an assist, Howe had two goals and Mac Puller had one goal. Zach Barnhill, Cole Foster and Brayden Puckett each had one assist. Barnhill also had six ground balls and Puckett also had two caused turnovers.
Sam Hitt won 15-of-22 faceoffs and had nine ground balls. Tyler Keiser had three caused turnovers and nine ground balls, Raymond Edwards had three caused turnovers and Adrian Harper had four ground balls.
Goalie Matt Murphy recorded nine saves and 11 goals allowed in 60 minutes.
Howe, Saucier, Keiser and Edwards were each named to the All-Tournament team.
Records: Huntingdon (12-7); Piedmont (9-8)