MANCHESTER, N.H. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College men's lacrosse team picked up a convincing 15-6 victory over cross-town rival Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference action at Grappone Stadium.
The Hawks, who entered the game ranked 20th in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national poll, improve to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Penmen drop to 2-5 overall and 1-3 against league opponents.
Through its first five games to date, the Hawks are averaging 14.4 goals per game which is on pace to set the single-season program record.
Senior Anthony Busconi (Watertown, Mass.) had a team-high five points (3-2=5) while classmate Xavier Quinn (Rye, N.H.) collected four points (2-2=4). Senior Patrick Sweeney (North Andover, Mass.) netted three goals and now sits at 99 career tallies over his four years at the Hilltop.
Saint Anselm jumped out to a 2-0 lead just over three minutes of action in opening quarter. Quinn scored the first goal with 33 seconds gone off the clock, followed up by a man-advantage tally by sophomore Ryan Richards (Mendon, Mass.).
The Penmen cut the lead in half with an extra-man opportunity tally with 7:15 to play in the first period before Busconi answered just over a minute later. Chris Valentine brought the visitors within a goal with a little over five minutes to play in the quarter.
The Hawks scored all six goals in the second quarter. Sweeney scored twice while sophomore Sean Tomaszewski (Arlington, Mass.), Busconi, Richards, and sophomore Will Palmer (Concord, Mass.) all found the back of the net to build a 10-2 lead at halftime.
Saint Anselm continued its offensive pressure, scoring three goals in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter. Busconi received a pass from Tomaszewski to put the Hawks up 11-2 with 3:13 gone off the clock. Sophomore Matt Ward (Shrewsbury, Mass.) found the back of the net thanks to an assist by freshman Jack Wells (Melrose, Mass.) before Wells himself scored with 5:22 to play in the third quarter. Cole Jacobson brought the Penmen deficit to 10 to end the third quarter scoring.
The Penmen scored three of the five goals in the final period of play but the Hawks answered each time to push their lead back to double digits. The final goal of the game came with 2:44 to play for the 15-6 final.
Senior Nick Richard (Hampstead, N.H.) finished the game with a career-high 17 saves in net to improve to 3-2 on the year. He passed the 200 career save threshold for Saint Anselm.
Alex Sturgess suffered the loss for the Penmen, making 19 saves. The Hawks outshot Southern New Hampshire 53-43 in the game, including 17-10 in the second quarter. Saint Anselm was successful on 22 of 26 clear attempts while the Penmen had 17 completed clears.
Saint Anselm heads to Syracuse, N.Y. on Saturday, Mar. 30 to take on the seventh-ranked Dolphins from Le Moyne College at 2 p.m.