Wright Scores Eight But Men's Lacrosse Drops Opener, 17-13

Men's lacrosse player alone in frame.
Ausar Wright stands alone in the Felician record book after scoring eight goals on Feb. 19, 2020. (Steven R. Smith)

LYNDHURST, N.J. – Senior midfielder Ausar Wright (Pemberton, N.J./Ewing) set a Felician University record with eight goals, but the Golden Falcons were defeated by the visiting University of the District of Columbia, 17-13, in non-conference men's lacrosse action on Wednesday afternoon at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. Felician was playing its first game of 2020.

Felician began its third year as a varsity intercollegiate program, and Wright doubled the previous school record for goals in game. He owned three of the Golden Falcons' previous four-goal games, and eclipsed his points record of five.

Freshman Zander Torres (Kelowna, British Columbia/Kelowna) (one assist) and sophomore Jacob Saunders (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) netted four goals each for District of Columbia (2-2). The Firebirds trailed, 7-5, at halftime but erased a pair of third-quarter deficits.

Torres notched the game's first goal, but the Golden Falcons surged ahead on three consecutive scores by Wright, the last with one minute, 18 seconds left in the first period. UDC, however, found the cage at the 0:13 mark of the quarter, and trailed, 3-2, at the buzzer.

Wright scored his fourth of the game and restored a two-goal edge for the hosts with 10:50 to play until halftime. The Golden Falcons led by the same margin at the break.

UDC was called for a one-minute penalty at the end of quarter No. 2, and when play resumed after halftime, the Golden Falcons took advantage. Just 11 seconds into play, Wright scored his record-breaking fifth goal and Felician possessed its largest lead of the day.

The Firebirds responded with a 4-0 run. Five seconds after tying the game at 9-9, they took the lead at the 8:44 mark of the third when senior Arthur Phorntavewat (Silver Spring, Md./Northwood) won the faceoff, streaked down the middle of the field, and fed Daniel Washington (Atlanta, Ga./Martin Luther King) for a shot from short range.

With the sides even at 10-10, UDC went in front for good on Turner Allison's (Pointe Claire, Quebec) man-down goal with 3:18 to play. Saunders' score with 0:04 left in the third sent the visitors into the final period ahead, 12-10.  

Freshman Robert Grasso (Islip, N.Y./Islip) gave the home crowd hope by putting a shot home 62 seconds into period four. But UDC took full control with three goals in an 85-second span for a 15-11 lead at the 12:10 mark and went on to win by that margin.

Felician's 49 shots were a program record but trailed the 58 of the Firebirds. UDC put 40 shots on goal, with Golden Falcon junior goalkeeper Pat Hemmer (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell) keeping his team competitive with 23 saves, matching his own Felician standard.

Wright finished with a team-high seven ground balls. His 16 shots were also a school record, surpassing the 13 of Jefferson Jacob last year at Davis & Elkins College. Grasso (one assist) and sophomore Anthony Mechkowski (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) each finished with two goals and three ground balls, and Felician freshman Brenden McKenney (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) totaled one goal and two assists.

Golden Falcon junior attackman Anthony Hanratty (Hewitt, N.J./West Milford) registered three assists and five ground balls. He is the second player in Golden Falcon history to enjoy a three-assist game, joining Patrick McAndrew.

Firebird freshman keeper Matt Miller (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) earned the victory with 11 saves. Phorntavewat picked up 11 ground balls and was 18 for 26 on the faceoff spot.

The teams were whistled for a combined 24 penalties (13-11 UDC) totaling 18 minutes.

Felician continues its season-opening three-game homestand by entertaining Roberts Wesleyan College on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Lyndhurst.