Greenville, S.C. – Thanks to a 9-3 halftime lead and two huge saves by Alec Van de Bovenkamp in the final two minutes, Furman was able to hold off an 11-6 second half run and down Mercer, 15-14, on Saturday afternoon inside Paladin Stadium. The win moves the Paladins to 3-7 on the year, 1-2 in SoCon play, while the loss drops the Bears to 1-9 (0-3 SoCon).
Alec Van de Bovenkamp made school-record 21 saves on the day, while picking up a team-high four ground balls. William Holcomb led the Paladins with four goals and an assist on the day, while Chad Kreuzer added three goals and two assists. Carson Sorrells netted three goals and Cole Horan caused a team-high three turnovers and picked up four groundballs.
"Obviously it's good to win the game," said head coach Richie Meade. "I thought our guys played really, really hard. In the first half, I thought we played as well as we'd played all year, then in the second half, we made too many mistakes coming down the stretch. We're fortunate to win."
Mercer took a 1-0 lead to start the game, before the Paladins used a 4-0 scoring run to open a 4-1 lead at the end of the game's first 15:00. The Bears cut the lead to 4-2 to open the second, before the Paladins again responded, this time with a 3-0 run, pushing the lead to 7-2 with 9:30 to go in the half. The Bears cut the lead to 7-3, but Furman ended the half with back-to-back goals, including a goal by William Holcomb with one second remaining to give the Paladins a 9-3 lead heading into halftime.
The teams traded goals to open the third, until Mercer used a 3-0 run to cut the Furman lead to 11-7 with 6:51 remaining in the third. Holcomb netted his fourth goal of the day to push the lead back to 12-7, before Mercer netted back-to-back scores to cut the Furman lead to three at 12-9. Kevin Smith scored his first goal of the season with just over 30 seconds remaining in the third to push the Paladin lead back to four at 13-9 heading into the game's final quarter.
Mercer used back-to-back scores to open the period to cut Furman's lead to two, but Chad Kreuzer netted a key goal with 7:43 remaining to put the Paladins back up three. The Bears again scored back-to-back goals to cut Furman's lead to one with 4:46 remaining. Carson Sorrells pushed the Paladins' lead back to two with just under 3:00 to go, before Mercer again cut it to one with 1:56 remaining. Mercer held the ball the remainder of the game, as Alec Van de Bovenkamp came up with two huge saves to give the Paladins the 15-14 victory.
Furman is back in action on Saturday, April 13, welcoming Bellarmine to Paladin Stadium for a 12:00 p.m. contest.