UNION, N.J. - Wesley College's men's lacrosse team cut a six-goal fourth quarter deficit to as close as two but could not get over the hump as Kean University defeated the Wolverines, 15-12, on Wednesday night at Alumni Stadium.
Joe Donato scored a career and game-high six goals to lead Wesley (0-2) while Eric Crumbock (four goals) and Nathan Gorski (four assists) tallied four points each.
The Wolverines held a 4-3 lead after the first quarter and through most of the second but Kean scored three goals in the final two minutes of the half to take a 6-4 lead into the break.
Kean (2-0) then outscored Wesley, 4-2 in the third and scored the first goal of the fourth and led 11-6 with 14:29 left to play.
After Crumbock scored a man-up goal just over a minute later, the Cougars rattled the cage two consecutive times and took their largest lead at 13-7 at the 7:53 mark.
Donato then tallied his first of three fourth-period goals on a man-down opportunity with 7:28 remaining off an assist from Gorski. Exactly ninety seconds later, Tim Dougherty (one goal, two assists) found the back of the net for Wesley on a power play off a Crumbock assist to cut the deficit to 13-9 in favor of Kean.
A junior from Bellmore, N.Y., Donato found the net once again at the 5:26 mark and was followed up by a James Moss (one goal, one assist) score with just under five minutes remaining.
The Cougars were able to respond with a score of their own to stop a 4-0 run by Wesley but Donato tallied his sixth and final goal with 2:09 left to play, cutting the lead to 14-12.
Kean put the game away with just six seconds left giving the Cougars the 15-12 victory.
The Cougars doubled up on Wesley in shot attempts, 52-26 and Wolverine goalkeeper Matt Ryan stopped nine shots on the night. Ryan also recorded four ground balls which was second on the team to Michael McQuarrie's nine.
Wesley returns to action on March 7 when it takes on Eastern University at 7 pm in Virginia Beach.