ALBANY, N.Y. – Looking to avenge a one-goal loss to the Golden Knights in the team's regular-season finale, the nationally-ranked men's lacrosse team from Saint Anselm College left little room for doubt in Tuesday's 19-9 victory over the College of Saint Rose in a Northeast-10 Conference First Round tilt.
Saint Anselm (10-4), ranked 17th in NCAA Division II by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, earned its first NE10 postseason victory in nearly 10 years while Saint Rose, making its first-ever appearance in the league playoffs, sees its season end with a 9-8 record.
The Hawks advance to the NE10 Semifinals and will take on the nation's top-ranked team, Le Moyne, this Friday at 12 p.m. in Syracuse, N.Y.
Junior Patrick Sweeney set the pace for the Hawks, scoring six goals and adding an assist for seven points (6-1=7) to tie a career-high mark. Freshman Matt Ward potted three goals and two assists while junior Anthony Busconi and senior Ryan Hesseltine each scored two goals for the Hawks.
In total, 11 Hawks registered at least one point in the convincing victory. Freshmen Griffin Shoemaker and Sean Tomaszewski each recorded a goal and one assist while junior Teo Olsen joined freshman Ryan Richards with a goal and two helpers. Tyler DuBien and Thomas Mapstone each cashed in with a goal. Senior Aaron Palys had one assist.
The Hawks matched a season-high mark with 12 caused turnovers as junior Chris Tully forced Saint Rose into four miscues. Senior John Maginnis and Olsen each had two as the defensive unit also contributed to the Hawks holding a 43-to-40 edge in ground balls.
Ward and Sweeney scored back-to-back goals to open the first quarter, but Saint Rose countered with two strikes within nine seconds to even the score at two. The Hawks closed the first quarter with unassisted goals from Busconi and Sweeney, carrying the visitors to a 4-2 lead after the first 15 minutes.
Leading by a 7-4 margin out of halftime, three quick goals for the Hawks out of the break ended any chance of a Saint Rose comeback as a whopping eight goals were put home by Saint Anselm in the third quarter. In total, the Hawks poured home 12 second-half goals and limited the hosts to only five tallies in the final 30 minutes of action.
Nick Richard made a career-high 16 saves for Saint Anselm, allowing only nine goals before CJ Hart played the final 45 seconds for the Hawks. Liam Guiton, one of the nation's top backstops, yielded 19 goals on 33 shots to draw the loss.