LAGRANGE, Ga. – The Huntingdon men's lacrosse team earned a return trip to the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament championship game with a 17-14 win over William Peace on Saturday.
The defending conference champions will play Piedmont for the conference title on Sunday at 3 p.m. (Eastern). This is the second season the USA South has sponsored men's lacrosse.
In Saturday's win, Huntingdon (12-6) and Peace (6-11) battled to a 9-9 tie at halftime. Huntingdon outscored the Pacers 8-5 in the final 30 minutes.
After trailing by as many as three goals in the first half, Huntingdon began to set the tone in the second half. The Hawks scored the first four goals of the third quarter with Zach Barnhill, Miles Stading, Austen Saucier and Sam Hitt each scoring once to make it a 13-9 game in the first eight minutes of the second half.
Peace answered with three goals to cut the Hawks' lead to 13-12, but Huntingdon answered. Two goals by Saucier and one by Seth Howe in a span of a little more than two minutes put Huntingdon ahead by four goals.
The Pacers scored twice in the fourth quarter before Howe closed the scoring with 2:35 to play in the game.
Howe and Saucier each finished with five goals. Saucier also had one assist. Barnhill and Mac Puller each had two goals and an assist. Barnhill had four ground balls and Puller had three ground balls.
Stading had one goal and three ground balls, Tyler Keiser had one goal and five ground balls and Hitt had one goal, won 14 faceoffs and picked up eight ground balls. Adrian Harper and Brayden Puckett each had one assist. Raymond Edwards had three caused turnovers and four ground balls.
Goalie Matt Murphy recorded 13 saves and 14 goals allowed in 60 minutes. Murphy leads the USA South with a 9.24 goals allowed average and is second with 217 saves. With 580 career saves, the senior needs 18 saves to become the Hawks' career leader.
Records: Huntingdon (12-6); William Peace (6-11)
Coming Up: Huntingdon will play Piedmont in the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament championship game on Sunday at 3 p.m. (Eastern) at LaGrange's Callaway Stadium.