No. 8 Fords Top Saints in Opener, 7-4
Mar. 5: The St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team opened its 2011 season on Saturday afternoon in Cortland, NY against nationally-ranked No. 8 Haverford. The Fords were able to protect a three-goal cushion after a solid first quarter, defeating the Saints by the score of 7-4.
Haverford (3-1) outshot St. Lawrence 41-37 and were able to control action throughout the game having won 11-of-14 face-offs. The Saints (0-1) battled back after getting off to a slow start, including two goals by junior Kyle Jacobsen. The game also proved to be a goaltending duel, as St. Lawrence's Jeff Goeke and Haverford's Joe Banno turned in 13 and 10 save performances, respectively.
"I was pleased with the way we bounced back after the first quarter," said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Mahoney. "I'm encouraged by the way we played and am certainly excited to get ready for the next (game)."
The Fords controlled the majority of the offensive play in the first quarter, which led to their 4-1 advantage. After Phillip Valliant scored the game's opening goal only 56 seconds in for Haverford, Zack Cohen made it 2-0 at 3:59 after a great assist from Travis Gregory.
Jacobsen got St. Lawrence on the board at 8:47 to cut his team's deficit in half at 2-1. Junior Drake Paul sent a perfect pass to the top of the goalie crease for Jacobsen, who hauled in the pass and scored on Banno. Haverford would cap the first quarter scoring with back-to-back goals only 23 seconds apart for a 4-1 lead. Cohen and Valliant each scored their second goals of the game for the three-goal cushion.
The Fords took a 5-1 lead thanks to a man-up goal by Gregory only 1:06 into the second quarter, but junior captain Caldwell Rohrbach responded with his first goal of the year at 3:50. Sophomore Dave Hovey assisted on what proved to be the final goal of half, as both Goeke and Banno were sharp throughout the final 10:00 minutes, sending the game to intermission at 5-2.
Jacobsen's second goal of the game on a man-up try early in the third quarter brought the Saints to within two at 5-3. Rookie Zach Sloan found Jacobsen cutting in front of Banno, and the Montville, NJ native finished the play to keep the Saints within striking distance.
Despite Max Hjelm giving Haverford a 6-3 lead with 4:15 to play in the third, the Saints had a critical chance to pull closer with a 6-on-3 man-up try with 2:13 to go. However, a costly turnover allowed the three Fords back on to the field with no damage done, keeping the 6-3 lead with 15:00 minutes left in regulation.
"I thought that was definitely the turning point in the game," said Coach Mahoney. "The momentum swung back in their favor after we had been putting some pressure on their defense."
With Banno playing strong in net matching Goeke save-for-save, the Fords put the game away at 6:21 of the fourth quarter when Valliant picked up his third tally of the afternoon. St. Lawrence's Dave Shoettler would cap the game's scoring with a goal at 8:11, with an assist going to Matt Pope. However, Haverford's defense clamped down and their offense controlled the ball en route to the 7-4 victory.
The Saints will be in action again next week when the team travels to Ithaca College to take on the Bombers on Friday, March 11 at 4:00pm.