(WHEELING, W.Va) – Walsh dropped its first decision of the season to some impressive competition with a 17-8 loss to No. 12 Wheeling Jesuit on Wednesday evening in the Mountain State. The Cavaliers (2-1, 1-1) were also playing a previously unbeaten team in the Cardinals (5-0, 2-0) who were also playing in their home opener.
Wheeling Jesuit took the early lead with three-straight goals to open up the game before Walsh got on the board with an unassisted strike from Alex Hudgens (Fr., South Lyon, MI/HS) midway through the first quarter. The Cardinals added another goal before reigning ECAC Offensive Player of the Week Nicholas Castorf (Fr., Holbrook, NY/Sachem) scored late in the period to make the score 4-2.
It was at that time that things started to fall apart for Walsh as it couldn't find the back of the net again until midway through the third quarter. By that time, Jesuit scored seven unanswered goals to make it an 11-2 game. Jesuit outscored the Cavs 8-1 in the third to take control of the game despite Walsh winning the fourth quarter 5-3.
Hudgens and Mason Axline (Sr., Green, OH/HS) each scored a pair of goals to lead the Walsh offense. Defensively Bryan Crim (Fr., Reading, PA/Exeter) paced the team with five ground balls. Dylan Ciolino (Fr., Nesonset, NY/Sachem North) and Jeff Balzano (Sr., Chesterland, OH/West Geauga) split halves in goal once again. Ciolino made the start while Balzano played the second half. The duo equally split 12 saves.
The Cavaliers will face another tough task in their next contest when they play the national runner-up from last season in Mercyhurst. That game will take place at home on Tuesday with a start time of 6 p.m.