HOOKSETT, N.H. – The nationally-ranked men's lacrosse team from Saint Anselm College cruised to an 18-8 victory over Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at Penmen Stadium.
The Hawks, ranked 20th in NCAA Division II by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, improve to 3-1 on the season while winning their second Northeast-10 Conference fixture of the season. Southern New Hampshire drops to 2-4 overall and remains in search of its first NE10 win of 2018.
Saint Anselm also picked up two important points in the Queen City Cup. The Hawks are in search of their first-ever overall victory in the battle for Manchester bragging rights and have won eight of the last nine games played against Southern New Hampshire in men's ice hockey, women's basketball, men's basketball and men's lacrosse.
Junior Anthony Busconi potted four goals and added two assists, recording a career-high six points (4-2=6) in the convincing victory. Freshman Griffin Shoemaker cashed in with four goals and one assist for five points (4-1=5) and New Hampshire product Xavier Quinn put home two goals of his own. A total of 10 Hawks recorded goals in the win.
Freshman Ryan Melley won 14-of-23 face-offs for Saint Anselm.
The Hawks registered 18 shots in the first 15 minutes alone, opening up a 6-0 lead after the first quarter of action. Quinn started the scoring with his sixth goal of the season only minutes in and freshman Thomas Mapstone tallied the first of his Hawks career only 56 second slater. James Righini scored the first of his two goals on the evening and was followed by Shoemaker, Busconi and Teo Olsen to close the frame.
SNHU and Saint Anselm each scored three goals in the second quarter but the Hawks were able to maintain its six-goal margin heading into the break. The visitors held distinct advantages in shots taken (26-to-15), ground balls (20-to-11) and face-off victories (11-to-3).
Six more goals came for the Hawks in the third quarter as Saint Anselm scored two-straight goals with the man advantage. Following a man-up goal by Southern New Hampshire, the Hawks scored five-straight goals to head into the fourth quarter with a 15-4 advantage.
Southern New Hampshire put home four of the fourth quarter's seven goals but the early damage had been done by the Saint Anselm offense – a total of four goals were scored with the extra man.
Defenseman Derrick LaBranche caused a team-leading three turnovers and picked up three ground balls. Mapstone hauled in a team-best five ground balls and senior Drew Bourdeau also got in on the action with three ground balls to his credit.
Hawks netminder Nick Richard earned the win, making eight saves on 12 shots before yielding to freshman CJ Hart in the game's final 14:07. The triumvirate of Neal Murray, Michael Brawley and Jacob Dionne allowed 18 goals on 30 shots – Murray was saddled with the loss.
Zach Tanner led Southern New Hampshire with five goals.
The Hawks host the nation's top team in NCAA Division II, Le Moyne College, on Saturday, Mar. 31 at 10:30 a.m.