HAMPTON, VA – In the historic first ever meeting between the nation's only NCAA Division I HBCU Men's Lacrosse program – Hampton University, and the nation's first and only NCAA Division II HBCU Men's Lacrosse program – University of the District of Columbia, the visiting Firebirds came out on top by a final score of 19-15 on Saturday afternoon at Armstrong Stadium.
The Firebirds (1-1), a fourth-year program under first-year head coach Rodger Colbert, were led offensively by five multiple-goal scorers and aided tremendously by a combined 24-for-37 on faceoffs by junior midfielder Teilen Celentano (16-of-23) and freshman midfielder Jose Leon (8-of-14). Junior midfielder LaRon Hinton tied for the game-high with five goals and added one assist while sophomore midfielder Tyler Mace was UDC's point-leader with four goals and three assists. UDC, for the 2nd straight game, set a program record for goals scored in a game with 19.
Defensively, sophomore transfer goalkeeper Nikolas Lund-Murray improved to 1-1 on the season by stopping nine of 24 shots faced in a complete game effort. The Firebirds also combined for 10 caused turnovers, including two apiece by Hinton, Mace and freshman midfielder Connor Mosby.
Hampton, a 2nd year program which has opened both its seasons with losses to Division II East Coast Conference school Roberts Wesleyan, fell to 0-2 this season with today's loss. The Pirates were led offensively by attack John Tarver's game-high eight points on five goals and three assists, and fellow attack Kendall Sapp's four goals and one assist. Goalkeeper Kevin Mondy, Jr. stopped 15 of 34 shots faced in the loss.
UDC's freshman attack Alan Singleton scored the game's first goal a little over two minutes into the action on a man-up opportunity off of an assist by Hinton. Hampton responded with a goal 20 seconds later by Sapp, but Hinton began and ended a 3-0 burst by the Firebirds with a man-down goal at 13:06 and an unassisted goal at 8:43 to put UDC in front, 4-1 still in the 1st quarter.
Hampton's Lemuel Randolph then kicked off a 5-0 Pirate surge with an unassisted goal at the 8:43 mark, and with Sapp's 3rd goal of the day at 4:29, the Pirates jumped ahead, 6-4. The Firebirds answered though with three straight unassisted goals to end the quarter by Mace, Hinton and Singleton, and they led 7-6 at the end of the first period.
Sophomore transfer attack Zach Hart (four goals, two assists) scored the first of his multiple goals just over five minutes into the 2nd quarter to push the UDC lead to 8-6 with a 4-0 run that spanned the 1st and 2nd quarters. But back came Hampton with four straight goals – the final two of which were man-down goals that came within 13 seconds of each other – and the Pirates were back on top, 10-8. Junior midfielder Syrrus Nash scored the first of his three goals on the day to stop the bleeding, but UDC still headed to halftime trailing 10-9.
Hart quickly opened the scoring in the 2nd half with a man-up goal just over 20 seconds into the 3rd quarter off of an assist by Singleton and evened the score at 10. Then, following a Hampton man-up goal by Darrel Kidd, Hinton and Mace each tallied unassisted goals at 13:34 and 11:21, respectively, to give UDC back the lead, 12-11.
Hampton would force two more ties at 12 and 13,but Nash's 2nd goal of the day at the 3:50 mark in the 3rd quarter would put the Firebirds ahead to stay. UDC closed out the 3rd period on a 4-0 run and took a 17-13 lead heading into the final quarter.
The two HBCU rivals traded goals twice with Hampton never coming any closer than three goals in the final quarter. Nash's 3rd and final goal gave UDC a 19-15 lead at the 5:33 mark, and that remained the score at the final buzzer.
UDC out-shot Hampton 58-34, won the ground ball battle, 21-11, and converted 4-of-10 man-up opportunities compared the Pirates' 3-of-5.
Next up, the Firebirds visit Georgian Court on Wednesday, March 1st at 3:30 p.m.