Hawks win second straight regular-season USA South title

Matt Murphy had 14 saves, six goals allowed and five ground balls in Saturday's win over Brevard. With his first save of the game, Murphy broke the Hawks' single-season saves record.
Matt Murphy had 14 saves, six goals allowed and five ground balls in Saturday's win over Brevard. With his first save of the game, Murphy broke the Hawks' single-season saves record.

BREVARD, N.C.  – The Huntingdon men's lacrosse team beat Brevard 13-6 on Saturday to capture its second straight USA South Athletic Conference regular-season title.

In the two seasons the USA South has sponsored men's lacrosse, Huntingdon has yet to lose a regular-season conference game. After posting a 6-0 conference record during the inaugural USA South season in 2018, Huntingdon (11-6) put together a 7-0 conference record this season.

The defending USA South Tournament champions will open play in the conference tournament on April 27 in LaGrange, Ga. The Hawks will play William Peace (6-10, 3-4 USA South) in the semifinals at 3:30 p.m. (Central).

Huntingdon will enter the tournament with 11 wins, the second most in the eight-year history of the program.

In Saturday's game, Huntingdon took control in the second half. Tied 5-5 at halftime, Brevard (6-7, 3-4 USA South) took a 6-5 lead in the first minute of the second half. Huntingdon answered with eight straight goals to close the game.

Back-to-back goals by Mac Puller in a span of 44 seconds helped start the final push. Puller's goal with 8:25 left in the third quarter tied the game and his goal with 7:41 left in the third quarter gave Huntingdon a 7-6 lead.

The Hawks carried the one-goal lead into the fourth quarter before scoring six goals in the final 8:49 of the game. During the final stretch, Bryce Coates scored two goals and Seth Howe, Zach Barnhill, Austen Saucier and Adrian Harper each scored one goal.  

Howe finished with four goals, Barnhill had two goals, three assists and three ground balls and Harper had one goal and three assists. Barnhill, who recently broke the Hawks' single-season assists record, has a program-record 31 assists this season.

Coates and Puller each scored two goals, Saucier had one goal and one assist and Miles Stading scored one goal. Puller also had five ground balls.

Sam Hitt won 13-of-21 faceoffs and picked up seven ground balls.

Goalie Matt Murphy recorded 14 saves, six goals allowed and five ground balls in 60 minutes. With his first save of the game, Murphy broke the Hawks' single-season saves record. He has a program-record 204 saves entering the conference tournament.

Murphy leads the USA South this season with an 8.94 goals allowed average and is second with 204 saves and a 59.6 save percentage.

 

Records: Huntingdon (11-6, 7-0 USA South); Brevard (6-7, 3-4 USA South)

 

Coming Up: Huntingdon will open play in the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament on April 27 in LaGrange, Ga. The Hawks will play William Peace at 3:30 p.m. (Central).