Men's lacrosse falls at No. 2 Le Moyne, defending NCAA Division II national champion

Men's lacrosse falls at No. 2 Le Moyne, defending NCAA Division II national champion

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team fell at No. 2 Le Moyne College, 12-2, on Friday at Ted Grant Field during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights are 1-7 overall and 0-7 in the league, while the Dolphins, who are the defending NCAA Division II national champion, improved to 11-1 and 8-1.

Saint Michael's concluded a run of facing seven consecutive teams that were either nationally ranked or receiving votes, a stretch that would have been nine if not for two cancelations. They took on a Le Moyne team that has advanced to nine of the past 13 NCAA Tournament championship games, winning five titles in that span. The Dolphins entered the day tied for first in the NE10 while extending their regular-season home league winning streak to 19 and improving to 44-2 during league play since 2013.

Junior Brian Loughlin (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) and first-year Ralph Grillone III (Brockton, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) each scored for the Purple Knights, and junior Matt Hanley (Plainview, N.Y./Bethpage) made 18 saves while scooping five ground balls. Classmate Bobby Frank (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) registered three ground balls, and first-year Justin Richmond (New Market, Md./Linganore) had five with four faceoff wins.

Junior Justin Kesselring had two goals and four assists for the Dolphins, and first-year Matt Hutchings notched a hat trick and a pair of helpers. Junior Jack Sweeney made six saves in 51:41 for the win.

Le Moyne won the opening draw, and Hutchings netted the first tally 32 seconds into the contest before the hosts made it 2-0 at 11:58 of the initial quarter on first-year Riley Larson's goal. Saint Michael's limited the Dolphins to only one score over the ensuing 13:46, as the visitors forced three turnovers while Hanley made three saves and caused one of the giveaways. Senior Tom Fitzgerald's (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) bid to get the Purple Knights on the board with 1:05 left in the first quarter was denied. Le Moyne put five goals on the board in the second to take an 8-0 lead into halftime, as Hutchings had two goals and two assists, while Kesselring notched a goal and two helpers.

Saint Michael's caused a pair of turnovers in the opening 1:58 of the third period before Frank's shot was stopped by Sweeney at 11:16, and a quick transition in the other direction led to a Larson goal 13 seconds later. Loughlin put the visitors on the board off of first-year Anthony Sullivan's (Westfield, Mass./Westfield) helper with 4:12 to go, less than a minute after Hanley came up with a stop and the Purple Knights cleared their defensive zone. Kesselring countered two minutes into the fourth quarter before Grillone scored off of first-year long-stick midfielder Aidan Maron's (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) pass with 6:29 left, 11 seconds after a Hanley stop and a quick visitor clear. Le Moyne tacked on two goals in the final 5:48.

The Purple Knights are at Franklin Pierce University on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.