Two Conference Titles | Two NCAA Tournament Appearances | One Academic All-American | One All-American

Peluso Scores Three Goals as @CentreMensLax Wins 8-6 at Augustana

Peluso Scores Three Goals as @CentreMensLax Wins 8-6 at Augustana

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (CentreColonels.com) – The Centre men's lacrosse team went 1-1 in its road trip to the state of Illinois, rebounding from Friday's loss at Aurora to defeat the Augustana Vikings by a score of 8-6.

The first quarter got off to a ragged start, with both teams turning the ball over on numerous occasions. Halfway through the period, senior Austin Zehnder (Prospect, Ky.) found freshman Dominic Nayan (Memphis, Tenn.) for the first goal of the contest and Nayan's third goal of the road trip. Centre kept on the attack for the rest of the quarter but couldn't get another one past Augustana keeper Jeremiah Heredia until the Colonels' persistence paid off and junior Dominic Peluso (Redondo, Beach, Calif.) scored with 38 seconds remaining.

Augustana rallied in the opening stages of the second quarter to tie the score after goals from Sam Daly and Erick Krall. With play slowing down in the final minutes of the half, Peluso struck again, this time scoring off the feed from sophomore Leland Gray (Louisville, Ky.) to put Centre back in the lead for the final goal of the half. The goalkeepers were the story in the second quarter as junior Sam Long (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Heredia combined for seven saves in the period.

Centre stormed out of the games after halftime, increasing the lead to 4-2 after sophomore Emerson Prager (Colchester, Vt.) found Gray for a goal just 73 seconds into the half. After a key save by Long, Centre scored once more as senior Mason Paas (Louisville, Ky.) notched his second goal of the season. Augustana cut the lead to two with a Jason Van Dyck goal at the five-minute mark, but both defenses clamped down with Long and Heredia recording saves as Centre held onto its 5-3 lead with one quarter to play.

An early Centre penalty gave Augustana a man-up advantage and the Vikings capitalized with a Lee Whorwell goal that cut the Centre lead to one goal. Centre responded with three consecutive goals. First Prager recorded his second goal of the year to push the lead back to two. Then Gray scored again, this time off the assist from senior Bryant Portwood (Charlotte, N.C.) halfway through the fourth quarter. Just two minutes later, Peluso scored his third goal of the game and Zehnder picked up his second assist of the game on the final scoring connection for the Colonels. In the final minutes, the Vikings took advantage of Centre penalties as a pair of man-up goals from Nick Gallo cut the Colonels' lead to 8-6, but Centre would not allow any more shots to enter the net and held on for the victory.

Peluso's three goals and Zehnder's two assists each marked game highs.

Centre outshot Augustana 26-20, held a 32-27 advantage in ground balls and forced 20 Vikings turnovers. Gray and Paas led the Colonels with four ground balls each.

Sam Long finished the game with seven saves.

The Colonels will be off next week but will return to action on Mar. 13 for a home game against Cornell College.