No. 14 Saint Michael's drops season opener to No. 13 NYIT

No. 14 Saint Michael's drops season opener to No. 13 NYIT

COLCHESTER, Vt. - In a match-up of nationally-ranked squads, the No. 14 Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team opened its 2014 slate on Saturday with a 12-4 loss to No. 13 New York Institute of Technology on Duffy Field. Both teams' rankings are according to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). NYIT is now 2-2, having suffering both of its setbacks to nationally-ranked squads.

Saint Michael's, which opened its slate following a 2013 season in which it tied a school record with 11 victories, received three goals from senior Cooper Quenneville (Shoreham, Vt./Gould Academy). It was Quenneville's first career hat trick, and he added five ground balls. Classmate Tim McDonald (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) also scored, senior Evan Antolino (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) lent two assists, and classmate Chris Casserly (Kensington, N.H./Exeter) was 6-of-14 on face-offs with four ground balls. Junior Luke Solms (Bedford, N.H./Northfield Mount Hermon) caused three turnovers, while senior Andrew Landers (Manchester, Mass./Proctor Academy) had a career-high 10 saves in his first collegiate start.

Junior Luke Miller (Mastic, N.Y./Stony Brook) posted two goals and five assists for the visitors, senior Cory Triola (Levittown, N.Y./Division Avenue) had four markers, and sophomore Shawn Murphy (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) notched three goals and a helper. Junior Nick Pelella (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./Stony Brook) was 7-of-13 on draws, and first-year Alex Seltzer (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK) collected 14 stops. The Bears, who have won four NCAA Tournaments since 1997, qualified for seven of the past 12 NCAA Tournaments.

NYIT scored twice in the opening 6:26, with Triola's man-up marker making it 2-0 with 8:34 left in the first quarter, before Quenneville responded 2:06 later. The Purple Knights found themselves on a man advantage for two minutes later in the period but were unable to find the equalizer, and the Bears scored the next six goals by the end of the third quarter. After scoring twice in a 1:51 stretch between the end of the first and second quarters, NYIT extended upon its 4-1 halftime edge with four third-period tallies.

Quenneville took an Antolino dish to make it 8-2 at 13:26 of the fourth, but Saint Michael's drew no closer despite being outscored only 4-3 in the final stanza.

The Purple Knights hit the road for their next four contests, beginning with a match-up at Molloy College next Saturday at 12 p.m.