Cardinals fall to Yellow Jackets 15-11 in season opener

Cardinals fall to Yellow Jackets 15-11 in season opener

ASHLAND, Va. – CUA dropped its season opener at Randolph-Macon on Wednesday evening, falling by a score of 15-11. The teams were tied at three after one quarter, before the Yellow Jackets outscored the Cards 6-1 in the second. CUA pulled to within four in the final quarter, but was unable to get any closer.

CUA finished the night with 27 shots, while Randolph-Macon was credited with 45. The Cardinals were 15 of 20 on clear attempts and 4 of 7 on the man up, but the Yellow Jackets won 19 of 29 face-offs and scooped up 44 ground balls to CUA's 26.

Nick Benhoff put the Yellow Jackets up 1-0 with a goal less than 20 seconds into the contest.

The Cardinals pulled even at the 7:58 mark when Brian Finnegan fed Jake Eisenstodt for a man-up goal, but RMC went back on top when Nolan Clark scored two minutes later.

CUA then scored two straight, one apiece by Bobby Kusbit and Brendan Englert, to take its first lead of the night with 3:26 on the clock.

Justin Butler's goal with 1:02 remaining tied the score at three after 15 minutes of play.

The Cardinals regained the lead in the first minute of the second, when Finnegan scored another CUA man-up goal, off a feed from Nathan Chan.

That wound up being the Cardinals lone score of the quarter though, as the Yellow Jackets ripped off six straight goals to take a 9-4 lead into the break.

Walter Hickey made it a 9-5 game with his score at the 12:26 mark of the third, but RMC again had an answer, this time scoring four straight to open up a 13-5 advantage with 3:58 to play in the quarter.

CUA closed the third out on a high note, scoring three straight goals, one from Billy Kirmsee and two from Hickey, to pull within 13-8 after three.

Finnegan opened the fourth quarter scoring with his second goal of the evening, to make it a 13-9 contest, but two straight scores by RMC put the home team in front by six with 8:40 to play.

Mike Frey got on the board for CUA with a score with 3:27 remaining to pull CUA within five, and Kusbit's goal with 1:08 to play made it a four-score contest.

RMC won the ensuing face-off however, and CUA was unable to get the ball back until the final 20 seconds.

Dominic Lee won six face-offs for CUA, while Kirmsee won three.  Kevin Cardillo received the start in goal and sent back four shots in 30 minutes of action, before giving way to Matt Brennan, who stopped two shots in 30 minutes.

The Cardinals are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Hood College to town. Start time is set for noon.

Photography by Keith Lucas