Second-half defense, 5-0 run help men's lacrosse pull away from Post in 12-8 victory

Second-half defense, 5-0 run help men's lacrosse pull away from Post in 12-8 victory

WATERBURY, Conn. - Strong second-half defense and a 5-0 run helped the Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team break a tie and pull away from Post University for a 12-8 victory on Wednesday at LaMoy Field. In the teams' first meeting, the Purple Knights improved to 2-4 this year, while the Eagles are 4-4.

For Saint Michael's, which is amid a four-game stretch over eight days, including three on the road, senior Mark Yetter (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery/Delaware) scored a career-high five goals after entering the game with six in his first five games this season. He added five ground balls. Sophomore Brian Loughlin (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) tallied a career-high six assists while scoring a career-high-tying eight points for the second straight game. He added two goals, while all 11 of his helpers this season have come in the last two contests. Senior Jamie McGill (Needham, Mass./Needham) contributed his second hat trick of the season, and classmate T.J. Bicknell (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) made 14 saves, including a dozen after halftime, and seven in the fourth quarter alone.

Sophomore Patch Ryan (Holden, Mass./Saint John's) tacked on a goal, two assists and four ground balls, and senior Daegan Goodman (Montpelier, Vt./Montpelier) also scored. First-year Conor DiNatale (Needham, Mass./Needham) was 8-for-14 on faceoffs with four ground balls.

Junior Trevor Buchas scored three times for Post, redshirt junior Paul Hylan had two goals and an assist, and sophomore Frank Nichols Jr. scored twice. Senior Rob Rohan had 11 stops.

Neither team led by more than one goal until the fourth quarter. Hyland put Post up 1:43 into the game before Goodman countered at 11:11 of the opening period, but Nichols and Buchas tallied during a 48-second stretch to make it 3-1 by 9:40. The Purple Knights scored the next three goals in a 1:44 span, with McGill scoring off a Loughlin assist at 5:24 before Loughlin fed Yetter 20 seconds later. With 3:40 left in the quarter, Loughlin gave the visitors their first lead, 4-3.

Buchas scored twice on a man-up advantage, with 22 seconds to go in the first and 21 seconds into the second, producing another lead for Post. McGill tallied off Loughlin's helper at 12:50, but Hylan put the Eagles back ahead 2:26 later. Yetter scored twice in the closing 4:48 of the period, off assists from Loughlin and junior Tim Connor (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown), respectively, and the Purple Knights carried a 7-6 lead into halftime.

The score remained unchanged until Nichols knotted the contest midway through the third quarter, but that proved to be the hosts' lone goal during a 38:51 stretch that allowed Saint Michael's to pull away. After making three saves in the opening 39:20, Bicknell posted three in a 31-second stretch late in the third period of a 7-7 game, and Loughlin assisted Patch for the go-ahead tally with 4:21 remaining, giving the visitors the final lead.

With his team up one, Bicknell made another four saves in an early 1:43 span of the fourth, and the Purple Knights potted two quick goals to pad their lead, with Ryan assisting both. McGill created the first multi-goal advantage of the game for either team at 11:11 before Yetter made it 10-7 at 10:13. Loughlin scored on a man-up feed from junior Andrew Colyer (Stowe, Vt./Stowe) with 4:35 to go before Yetter was assisted by Loughlin at 2:51 to cap the run. Post tallied with 1:31 left to snap a 21:29 scoreless string.

Saint Michael's caps its road swing at No. 5 Adelphi University on Saturday at 12 p.m. The Panthers, who won the last two Northeast-10 Conference Championships and qualified for the past three NCAA Tournaments, will already be the Purple Knights' third nationally-ranked opponent this season, with each falling within the top seven.