Men's Lacrosse Advances at National Invitational With Win Over St. Mary

Posted May 3, 2017

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Marshall, Mo. (May 3, 2017)- The No. 1 Missouri Valley College men’s lacrosse team opened play at the 2017 NAIA Men’s Lacrosse National Invitational Wednesday afternoon with a first round game against No. 8 University of St. Mary (Kan.).  The Vikings took a double-digit lead into halftime, and finished the game with an 18-7 victory.


Missouri Valley jumped out to an early lead, thanks to a goal from Freshman Attacker Tyler Wilkinson (Driftwood, Texas) with just over one-minute played.  Freshman Goalkeeper Austin Degross (Apopka, Fla.) was called on for his first save just past the 13-minute minute mark, and the Spires continued to add pressure to the MVC defense.  St. Mary had one shot hit off the post, then another miss wide over the next minute.  Missouri Valley eventually retained possession and extended its lead to 2-0 on a goal from Junior Midfielder Greg Ferone (Orlando, Fla.), off an assist from Junior Midfielder Carson Brezinski (Edmonton, Alberta).  St. Mary battled back over the next several minutes, and cut its deficit to 2-1 with just under nine minutes to play in the quarter.  The two teams traded possession over the next several minutes, neither putting a shot on goal.  Missouri Valley broke through, and extended its lead with less than five minutes remaining in the first quarter, as Freshman Midfielder Jairus Villarreal (Magnolia, Texas) scored to put the Vikings in front, 3-1.  Wilkinson followed shortly after with two shots, the second getting past the keeper to make it a 4-1 MVC lead with 3:30 remaining in the quarter.  The Spires came back with a shot that hit off the post, but Missouri Valley responded in the final seconds.  Junior Midfielder Owen Sorobey (Winnipeg, Canada) scored in the last moments of the quarter to give Missouri Valley a 5-1 lead.


The second quarter opened with St. Mary getting an early chance, but Degross saved the USM shot with just over one minute played.  A penalty put Missouri Valley down one man, but NAIA Player of the Year, Sophomore Midfielder Ryan Barnes (Farmington, Minn.) came through with man-down goal to push the Viking lead to 6-1 with nearly two minutes played.  The two teams traded possession over the next stretch of play, but it was St. Mary that got the next goal.  The Spires scored with 8:45 to play in the half to shrink its deficit to 6-2.  Less than 30 seconds later, Junior Defender Alex Aubrecht (Farmington, Minn.) gave MVC a 7-2 lead, then Wilkinson scored near the midway point of the quarter to make it an 8-2 game.  The Vikings continued to apply pressure to the USM defense, and held possession for a long stretch.  Barnes scored on a Wilkinson assist with just under six minutes to play in the half. Brezinski followed with a goal nearly one minute later, with an assist from Ferone, and the stretch was capped by a Junior Midfielder Ben Boyer (Peoria, Ill.) goal, from a Freshman Midfielder Aaron Longley (Manchester, England) assist, to put MVC in front 11-2 with just under four minutes remaining in the second quarter.  The Vikings found the back of the net one more time before the half ended, as Brezinski scored with two seconds left on the clock to send Missouri Valley into the break holding a 12-2 lead.


The Vikings continued to add to their lead early in the third quarter, as Ferone scored with under two minutes played after the break, followed by a goal from Wilkinson, with an assist to Freshman Midfielder Brandon Rice (Kahnawake, Quebec), less than one minute later, to extend the MVC lead to 14-3.  St. Mary came back in under one minute to cut the deficit to 13-4, but the score stayed that way until another man-down goal from Barnes put the Vikings in front 15-3 with under five minutes remaining in the third.  Villarreal scored in the closing moments of the quarter, on an assist from Ferone, to give Missouri Valley a 16-3 lead going into the final quarter.  Longley and Boyer scored goals in the opening six minutes of the fourth quarter, and Missouri Valley came away with an 18-7 victory over the Spires.


Leading the way for Missouri Valley was Wilkinson who finished with four goals and one assist.  Barnes added three goals and one assist, while both Ferone and Villarreal finished with two goals and two assists.  Brezinski scored two goals with one assist, and Boye added two goals.  The Vikings finished with a 50-23 edge in shots and 43-25 edge in groundballs.  Degross made four saves in goal and came up with seven groundballs.


The win moves Missouri Valley to 14-1 on the season, while St. Mary ends its season at 8-9.  The Vikings defeated the Spires for the third time this season.  The first win came at home on April 8, 18-5.  The second win came in the KCAC Postseason Tournament Championship Game, 15-8, back on April 22.


Next for the Vikings is a game in the semifinal round, Friday at 1 p.m., EST.  Missouri Valley plays the winner of the No. 4 Keiser (Fla.) University/No. 5 Missouri Baptist University first round game.




Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society. MVC offers over 30 academic programs, study abroad program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, criminal justice and exercise science. Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit


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