Pioneers Defeat Robert Morris 14-13 on Senior Day, Clinch NEC Tournament Berth
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Led by four goals from Cody Marquis (Londonderry, N.H.), the Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team defeated the Robert Morris Colonials 14-13 at Campus Field on Saturday for Senior Day. The win secured a Northeast Conference tournament berth for the Pioneers.
Prior to the start of Saturday's game, Sacred Heart honored seniors Pierce Bradley, Eric Crepinsek, Trevor Dauses, Pat Fletcher, Shane Foley, Mack Fuller, Matt King, Stephen Kontos, Eric Madigan, Peter Mormino, Dylan Morrisey, and Nick Soubry for Senior Day.
Marquis added an assist for a five-point day. Matt Gannon (Huntington, N.Y.) had four points on a goal and three assists. Gannon now has 32 assists on the season, the most for a Pioneer in a single-season since Sacred Heart moved to Division I for lacrosse. Matt King (Brewster, N.Y.), Shane Foley (South Brunswick, N.H.), and Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ontario) each added a pair of goals. Stephen Kontos (Danvers, Mass.) won 21 of 30 faceoffs and scored his first goal of the season.
Robert Morris (6-6, 2-2 NEC) controlled the opening quarter. The Colonials outshot Sacred Heart (3-9, 3-1 NEC) 10-7 in the first, taking a 3-0 lead with 3:27 left in the quarter on a Tyler Digby goal. The Pioneers got on the scoreboard with 1:37 remaining in the opening period on a Trevor Dauses (Glen Arm, Md.) tally. Robert Morris took a 4-1 lead 40 seconds into the second quarter on a Luke Laszkiewicz goal. Less than one minute later, Andrew Newbold (Loveland, Ohio) cleared the ball out of the defensive end and went all the way down the field and scored to get Sacred Heart within two, 4-2. Mawdsley added a man-up goal with 11:54 remaining in the second to make the score 4-3.
Eric Rankel put the Colonials back up by two with 6:26 to play in the half, with his second goal of the game making the score 5-3. The Pioneers then shut out Robert Morris for the remainder of the half. Goals by Foley and Marquis tied the game 5-5 with 3:31 left in the second quarter. Kontos then won the ensuing faceoff and put a bounce shot past Robert Morris goalie Charles Ruppert to give Sacred Heart a 6-5 lead. Marquis scored the last two goals of the quarter, with assists from King and Gannon, to give the Pioneers an 8-5 halftime lead.
Sacred Heart increased the lead to five early in the third quarter, as goals by Foley and Mawdsley made the score 10-5 with 11:49 to play in the quarter. Robert Morris then went on a 6-0 run, beginning with Nicholas Beaudoin's faceoff win and goal with 11:41 left in the third. Back-to-back goals by Ryan Higgins tied the game 10-10 with 7:25 to play in the quarter, as Laszkiewicz's second goal of the game put the Colonials ahead 11-10. Gannon tied the game 11-11 with his seventh goal of the season, assisted by Newbold, at the 3:35 mark. Jake Hayes put Robert Morris back in front with 1:38 left in the quarter, but that would be the last lead for the Colonials. Marquis scored a man-down goal with 51 seconds left in the third to tie the score 12-12. King then put the Pioneers ahead 12-11 when he tallied a goal with three seconds left in the quarter.
The Pioneers extended the lead to two with 13:45 to play in the final quarter on King's second goal. Robert Morris got within one goal with 3:10 remaining, as Rankel's third goal of the game made the score 13-12. The Colonials had a chance to tie the game with 32 seconds remaining but Jake Hayes' shot was stopped by Sacred Heart goalie Jon Flood (Bay Shore, N.Y.). The Pioneers then successfully cleared the ball and ran out the clock for the win.
Robert Morris outshot Sacred Heart 35-31 for the game, but the Pioneers held a 36-27 advantage in ground balls. Flood made 10 saves for Sacred Heart as the combination of Ruppert and Brian Bohn had nine. The Pioneers were 2-for-9 on extra-man opportunities with Robert Morris going 1-for-4.
Sacred Heart wraps up the regular season next Saturday, April 27 with a 1 p.m. game at Bryant. Both teams enter the final week of NEC play with 3-1 records atop the conference, as does Quinnipiac.