CRAWFORDSVILLE, IND. -- The Trine University men's lacrosse team opened the 2018 season in winning fashion with a 16-6 victory against Wabash College in the season opener in Crawfordsville, Ind.
The Thunder had a pair of players score four goals in the game in junior Eric Peal (Imperial, Mo./Seckman) and senior Nick Maher (DeWitt, Mich./DeWitt). Maher also added a pair of assists to finish with a team-high six points on the day (four goals, two assists). Sophomore Justin Gearig (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) and junior Daniel Shine (Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech College Prep) both had multi-goal games with two each. Gearig also assisted on three other goals to cap a five-point afternoon (two goals, three assists).
Seniors Lucas Radice (West Chicago, Ill./West Chicago), Jordan Lelito (West Chicago, Ill./West Chicago), and juniors Connor Putnam (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield) and Neil Orr (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) rounded out the goal scorers for Trine with a goal each.
In goal, sophomore Joseph Steigmeyer (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) started the game and played 56:15 while making 11 saves. He was also credited with the win to begin the season, 1-0. Junior Chris Shuster (Medina, Ohio/Medina) also saw time in net and tallied three saves in 3:45 of action.
Trine (1-0) scored often in the first quarter with seven goals. Despite giving up the game's first goal to Wabash (0-1), the Thunder answered with seven straight scores that included three goals by Maher. Peal scored two of his game's four goals in the first quarter which came at the 8:55 and 1:13 minute marks. The other two goals in the period came from Gearig on a "man-up" advantage with 6:43 to play and Radice found the back of the net just before the end of the quarter with 25 seconds left to give Trine a 7-1 advantage after the first 15 minutes.
The Thunder went on to score three more times in each of the remaining quarters with their three goals in the second being the only scoring in the period. Gearig got the scoring going with his second tally of the game at the 6:50 mark and Maher followed with his fourth of the contest with 5:19 left before halftime to make the score 9-1. Orr got in the scorebook offensively with a marker on another "man-up" opportunity with just over two minutes to end the scoring and give Trine a commanding 10-1 margin at the intermission.
The third quarter saw a 3-2 Trine advantage in goal scoring with Deal Putman and Jordan Lelito all putting shots past the Wabash netminder at the 13:36, 10:48 and 9:43 marks to extend the margin to 13-3.
Peal made it a 14-3 game in favor of Trine early in the fourth quarter with 11:19 to go in the game. The Little Giants then tallied back-to-back scores, but those were answered by a pair of scores by Shine, and included a short-handed goal, to make the score, 16-5, with 1:04 to play. Wabash scored the final goal of the game with just 47 seconds remaining, but it was the visitors who cruised to the 16-6 final.
Trine will next travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for a matchup against Mount St. Joseph next Saturday, Feb. 24. The game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.