Fourth-seeded Purple Knights suffer NE-10 semifinal loss at top-seeded Adelphi

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - One of the most successful seasons in Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse history came to an end during the semifinal round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship on Friday, as the fourth-seeded Purple Knights fell to top-seeded Adelphi University, 22-6, on Motamed Field. Saint Michael's finished with a school-record-tying 11 victories during its 11-5 season, while the Panthers improved to 13-1 and advance to Sunday's title tilt.

The Purple Knights are ranked 11th nationally by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) and sit sixth in the latest NCAA North Region poll. Senior Marty Vanzo (Westford, Vt./Essex/Vermont) tallied a hat trick and two assists, finishing the season with 60 points to become just the fourth player in program history to reach that plateau, and the first since 1993. He completed his three-year career with 144 points, tying for fourth at Saint Michael's, while placing fourth in assists (58) and ninth in goals (86). Seniors D.J. Dauria (Sherborn, Mass./Dover-Sherborn), Pete Donnally (Madison, N.J./Morristown-Beard School) and Austin Driscoll (Hingham, Mass./Hingham/Dickinson) all scored once, with Donnally extending his program record to 127 career goals - he also finished second with 156 points - while Driscoll netted the first of his college career, which included three seasons at Saint Michael's.

[ADDENDUM: Following the championship game on May 5, DeMairo was named to the NE-10 Championship All-Championship Team.]

On the defensive side, fifth-year senior Evan White (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) scooped up a career-high-tying 10 ground balls while also going 3-for-6 from the X during the first face-off attempts of his career. He added three caused turnovers. Junior Chris DeMairo (Bethpage, N.Y./Bethpage) made a career-high 16 stops in 55:54 during his final appearance wearing purple and gold, as he is slated to graduate in December. He finished with a 29-12 record in addition to posting a school-record 6.80 goals-against average during his tenure with the program.

Adelphi, which is ranked second nationally, first in the region and whose lone loss this season came against the Purple Knights, received four goals from junior Ikerson Hopper (Onondaga Nation/West Genesee), as well as two goals and six assists from senior Nick Watson (Manchester, England/North Chadderton). Graduate student Rashad Cureton (Amityville, N.Y./Holy Trinity) went 9-for-11 on draws and picked up nine ground balls, while classmate Eric Janssen (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) had six stops during the opening half to earn the win as the first of four goalies.

Adelphi scored three times in the initial 3:14, including twice on man-up opportunities, and the Panthers turned a 6-0 advantage at the end of the first period into an 11-0 lead by 8:37 of the second. Vanzo helped the Purple Knights stay even with the hosts for the remainder of the half, scoring at 4:35 and assisting Donnally at 1:01 to make it 13-2.

Hopper netted a hat trick during a 35-second stretch early in the third quarter to put Adelphi ahead by 14 before Vanzo scored at 9:48 off a feed from sophomore Matt Casella (Yonkers, N.Y./Fordham Prep). Vanzo tallied again with 5:19 remaining in the third before Dauria scored at 11:50 of the fourth. With 2:18 to go in the contest, Vanzo sent a pass to Driscoll, who buried a shot into the right side for his initial collegiate marker.