Staff Writer

The men’s lacrosse team faced off against Methodist University in a military appreciation game on Saturday, March 28, taking the win 13-7. 

The game began with the Lions falling behind the Monarchs, but right before the first quarter came to a close, fourth-year midfielder Nick Green came through with the first goal for Piedmont. 

Once the second quarter rolled around, the Lions gained momentum with two more goals by first-year midfielder David Salvatelli and Green. The first half ended with Piedmont in the lead, 5-3. 

The second half of the game started off strong with a goal by third-year attackman Taylor Carter. Once the Lions took the lead, they gave their opponents a tough fight, gaining four goals in the third quarter alone. Towards the end of the third quarter, two Methodist players fouled against Salvatelli, putting the Lions up two people. 

By the time the fourth quarter began, Piedmont’s defense continued fighting hard, and by the end of the game, they gained the victory.  

Fourth-year defender Ryan Price said: “I think the game went really well. The defense played great, and the offense was giving them help by scoring. Hopefully, we can continue this into the next game.” 

Fourth-year midfielder Sumner Gantz and third-year midfielder Branson Mikell organized the military appreciation aspect of the game. Mikell and Gantz incorporated the Wounded Warrior Project into this event. Mikell did it as part of a project for a public relations class while Gantz included this in his senior capstone project. 

The Wounded Warrior Project provided materials such as bracelets, magnets and stickers to fans and took donations that go towards American soldiers. There was also an opportunity for anyone who wanted to write letters to soldiers to come do so at the booth. 

Mikell’s parents, Lorna and Mike Mikell, said, “It’s fitting that Branson would put something like this together since both of us are retired from the military. We’re proud that he would incorporate military appreciation into his sport.”

The players that scored in the game were Green, Carter, Salvatelli, and fourth-year attackman Steve Blanchard. Green was the leading scorer with five goals. Mikell, fourth-year midfielder Patrick Ammons, Green, and Gantz all had assists. 

This win put the Lions’ record at 4-7. 

Second-year midfielder Gilbert Ibarra said: “Overall, the game was well played. We played at a level that we have not played at in a while on both sides of the ball. Individually, everyone played their part, and the game fell in our direction. We followed our coach’s instructions and kept our heads in the game and got a long deserved win at home.”

Prior to this game, the Lions had suffered five losses. Now that they pulled through with a win, hopefully this game will be the start of many more wins. 

Head Coach Pete Manderano said: “This win gives us confidence moving forward as a team. Our offense and defense played really well, and this win gets us out of our rut. We have an important game coming up on Saturday against Greensboro, and we will continue to take one game at a time.”