Bal's Second Straight Game-Winner Lifts Storm to 9-8 Win at Wheeling Jesuit

Keegan Bal
Keegan Bal

PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Sophomore Keegan Bal scored his second straight game winner, this time with 10 seconds remaining, as the Lake Erie College men's lacrosse team defeated Wheeling Jesuit University 9-8 on Thursday night (April 28) in Bethany, W. Va.

Bal (Coquitlam, B.C./Centennial Secondary), the reigning East Coast Conference Player of the Week, scored three goals in the contest and added an assist. It was his third straight game with that three goal-one-assist-four point stat line.

None of his goals were bigger than the last, which came off a pass from classmate Joeyjohn French (Tully, N.Y./Tully), and gave the Storm (6-6, 3-5 ECC) its second straight win and third in four games.

That capped a big fourth-quarter comeback for Lake Erie.  After Wheeling Jesuit (5-9, 1-8 ECC) scored three times in the third to take a 7-5 lead, the Storm scored four times in the final frame.

Sophomore Josh Becker (Salamanca, N.Y./Salamanca) scored twice to tie the score and freshman Trevor Tarte (Amherstburg, Ontario/Kiski Prep ) connected to give the Storm a 8-7 lead. 

Phil Mergner scored to tie the game for Wheeling Jesuit with 5:40 to go.  The Cardinals had four shots over the next five minutes, while the Storm had none, but after a WJU clear attempt failed, freshman James McKenzie (Forest Park, Ill./Lyons Twonship) came up with the ground ball which led to Bal's game-winner.

Bal and classmate Matthew Curcio (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) each scored twice and French added a goal in the first half to help the Storm lead 5-4 at the break.  

Brian Frank scored three times for the Cardinals.

Making his second straight start, sophomore Alexander Wisner (Sylvania, Ohio/Sylvania Southview) made six saves.

The Storm returns home to host 12th-ranked New York Institute of Technology on Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m.

-LEC-