FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart men's lacrosse team closed out the 2014 regular season Saturday with a 14-10 win over Mount St. Mary's at Campus Field on Senior Day. The win ensured a third-place finish in the Northeast Conference for the Pioneers and a semifinal matchup against Bryant on May 1.
Prior to Saturday's game, Sacred Heart honored the 10 seniors of the 2014 senior class – Alex Miller (Ridgewood, N.J.), Seth Richard (Derry, N.H.), Cody Marquis (Londonderry, N.H.), Alec Dvoretsky (Montville, N.J.), Joe Burek (Kinnelon, N.J.), Tom Horak (West Hartford, Conn.) and captains Matt Gannon (Huntington, N.Y.), Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ont.), Jared Carrier (Crownsville, Md.), and Andrew Newbold (Loveland, Ohio). Miller had a game-high six points on four goals and two assists. Mawdsley also had four goals. Gannon had five points on a goal and four assists. Marquis added a goal and two assists.
Sacred Heart (6-8, 4-2 NEC) dominated possession in the first quarter. The Pioneers held Mount St. Mary's (1-15, 1-5 NEC) to two shots in the period, one of which came off the opening faceoff. Mawdsley opened the scoring with his first goal of the game at the 12:36 mark. Thomas DiPlacido (Wrentham, Mass.) then fired a shot from 10 yards out and scored with 6:29 to play in the first to make the score 2-0. Miller followed with his first tally at the 3:44 mark to put the Pioneers ahead 3-0. All three Sacred Heart goals in the first quarter were assisted by Gannon, as the Pioneers outshot the Mountaineers 14-2 in the first quarter.
Mount St. Mary's got back in the game early in the second quarter, as goals by Kyle McDonough and Mike Daly 55 seconds apart made the score 3-2 with 11:30 remaining in the half. Alex Dodge (Smithtown, N.Y.) got the Sacred Heart lead back to two with a goal at the 8:10 mark, with Mawdsley scoring 20 seconds later to make the score 5-2. Brian Masi (Smithtown, N.Y.) closed the quarter with back-to-back goals as Sacred Heart took a 7-2 lead at halftime.
Gannon capped off a five-goal run for the Pioneers early in the third, scoring at the 11:38 mark to make the score 8-2. However, the Mountaineers would rally. Evan Gormley's goal with 10:57 remaining in the quarter opened a four-goal Mount St. Mary's run, capped off by two Mark Hojnoski tallies to make the score 8-6 with 3:44 to play in the third. Sacred Heart moved its lead back to four, 10-6, on goals by Mawdsley and Miller. Ahead 10-7, the Pioneers scored three unanswered goals to open the fourth quarter. Marquis scored man-up 20 seconds into the period, followed by markers from Mawdsley and Miller that gave Sacred Heart a 13-10 lead with 11:47 to play. Mount St. Mary's scored three of the last four goals in the game to make the final score 14-10.
Mount St. Mary's outshot Sacred Heart 43-30 for the game, and won 20 of 27 faceoffs. The Mountaineers also held a 32-28 edge in groundballs. Ryan Hughes (Bayport, N.Y.) made six saves in the first half for Sacred Heart in goal, with Jon Flood (Bay Shore, N.Y.) making seven in 27:08 of action in the second half. Dvoretsky finished off the game in goal for the Pioneers, making two saves. Hojnoski led the Mountaineers with five points on three goals and two assists.
Sacred Heart will face second-seeded Bryant in the Northeast Conference Tournament, hosted by Saint Joseph's, on Thursday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. This is the second season in a row that the Pioneers and Bulldogs will meet in the NEC Tournament semifinals.