LANCASTER, Pa. — The Kenyon College men’s lacrosse team raced out to a 3-0 start Wednesday on the home field of the No. 8-ranked Diplomats of Franklin & Marshall College. The Lords, however, couldn’t hold down A.J. Rigsby and Kai Kelly, who combined for seven points and rallied the Diplomats for an 11-6 win.
Kenyon’s impressive start was ignited on its first possession as sophomore Rowan Goldin drove the right side and scored from close range just 33 seconds into play. Less than two minutes later, junior Jack Giuffre whipped a left-handed shot that found twine. Then, with 9:27 still remaining in the first quarter, first-year Rollins Heath wrapped around the left side and scored from about 10-yards away to give the Lords a 3-0 advantage.
From that point, Rigsby stepped up his play and scored twice for Franklin & Marshall, cutting the Diplomats’ deficit to one goal at the end of the first quarter.
Five minutes into the second quarter, Kenyon goalkeeper Mayo Amorello saved a Kelly shot, but the rebound bounced right out front, where James Moroney scooped it up and scored to even the game at 3-3. Roughly five minutes later, Kelly scored off a reset in a man-up situation, giving the Diplomats their first lead of the game.
Following a Kenyon time out late in the second quarter, Mike Matteo killed some clock, slid to his right and nonchalantly scored the equalizer. When the Diplomats gained their next possession, they did the same. Following a time out, Franklin and Marshall got a goal from Kelly, who sent the game to intermission with the Diplomats holding a 5-4 lead.
Amorello had another big game for the Lords and played a huge role in keeping things close. He finished the contest with 14 saves, 11 of which were made in the first half.
Franklin and Marshall, which outscored Kenyon 3-1 in the second quarter, finished off the game by posting the same ratio in both the third and fourth quarters. The Diplomats defense yielded three goals in the first six minutes of play and then just three more the rest of the way.
In the third quarter, the Diplomats registered the first two goals before Giuffre ended the run with a score that kept Kenyon alive, trailing by just two. That goal, however, was answered by three straight, two from Will Mollihan, which moved Franklin & Marshall out to a 10-5 lead with just 10 minutes left in the game.
Giuffre and Heath, who accounted for Kenyon’s last goal, each scored twice for the Lords (3-1). Kelly led all goal-scorers with three, while Rigsby’s two goals and two assists totaled up for a game-high four points for the Diplomats (5-0).
While most team statistics were fairly even, Franklin & Marshall’s man-up play was crucial. The Diplomats were 3-for-4 in extra-man opportunities, while the Lords went scoreless in five opportunities.