Clarkson Uses Big First Quarter to Top Saints, 9-7
Apr. 14: The St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team gave up six first quarter goals to Clarkson University on Wednesday evening and was unable to rally in the final stanza, falling to their rival 9-7 in Canton, NY. The loss snaps a 22-game winning streak for the Scarlet and Brown in conference play at North Country Field.
The loss sends the Saints to 6-4 overall and 1-2 in Liberty League play, while the Golden Knights improve to 2-1 in league and 3-9 overall. Senior captain Scott Smith finished with four goals and an assist for St. Lawrence, while Matt McCabe had three tallies for the Knights.
"We struggled out of the gate and they took advantage," said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Mahoney. "We had chances to claw back into the game, but (Ryan) Cole did a nice job in net to protect their lead."
Cole won the battle of rookie goalies against St. Lawrence's Jeff Goeke on Wednesday, turning in a fantastic 19-save outing. Goeke, who made several clutch saves to keep his team in the game, finished with eight stops.
Clarkson played nearly a flawless first quarter, as they outshot St. Lawrence 13-4, had more ground balls and were a perfect 6-for-6 on clearing tries. Their efforts led to six consecutive goals and a comfortable lead 15 minutes into the contest. McCabe and Eric Gollands scored only 24 seconds apart for a 2-0 lead, and were followed by Mitch Collins and Tyler Long, who made it 4-0 with 4:59 left in the opening frame. Collins and McCabe then capped the scoring with goals less than two minutes apart for the six-goal advantage.
St. Lawrence first-year student Mac Johnson got his team on the board 4:46 into the second quarter, when he rifled a shot inside the near post for a man-down goal against Cole. However, McCabe answered with his third goal from Collins at 10:57 for a 7-1 lead. Though Smith scored the final goal of the half with 2:13 on the clock, the Saints faced a five-goal deficit at halftime trailing 7-2.
Needing the momentum early, Smith kick-started the home team's comeback effort with a goal only 1:27 into the second half. Though Clarkson's Matt Cyr answered less than a minute later, sophomore Caldwell Rohrbach kept the Saints within striking distance with the final goal of the quarter to cut the lead to 8-4.
Smith began to really attack the net in the fourth quarter, and his efforts paid off with back-to-back goals to pull the Saints to within two at 8-6 with 8:28 left in the game. However, Clarkson was able to eat quality time off the clock behind 4-of-5 face-off wins in the quarter.
Cyr would score the back-breaking goal for Clarkson, as he managed to sneak a low shot past Goeke despite falling to the turf with 4:36 left that gave the visitors a 9-6 lead. Sophomore Matt Pope got the goal back for St. Lawrence by blitzing a shot past Cole with 1:50 left, but the Scarlet and Brown's comeback effort was halted on the next offensive possession when Johnson's shot on net hit the post and bounced away from the goal. The fortunate break allowed the Knights to run out the clock and secure the 9-7 win.
St. Lawrence closed with a 44-28 advantage in shots on goal and a 30-26 edge in ground balls. However, Clarkson won 12-of-20 face-offs and were able to overcome 18 turnovers to get the win.
Senior captain Trevor Scoon closed with a game-high six ground balls while adding an assist and two caused turnovers for the Saints. Evan Renwick and Mike Perkins did a sound job defensively for Clarkson, combining for four ground balls and two caused turnovers.
St. Lawrence will be in action again Friday in Poughkeepsie, NY when they visit Vassar College at 5:00pm.