Chirgwin Tallies Winner with 1:51 Remaining, Caps 7-6 Purple Knight Victory

Chirgwin Tallies Winner with 1:51 Remaining, Caps 7-6 Purple Knight Victory

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse sophomore Alex Chirgwin (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) struck for the winning goal with 1:51 remaining on Wednesday, just eight seconds after junior Kyle Hirshom (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) had tied the game, to help the Purple Knights down regionally-ranked Franklin Pierce University, 7-6, at Duffy Field.

Saint Michael's took over first place in the Northeast-10 Conference with a 2-0 league mark, its first such start in eight years. The Ravens were ranked fifth in this week's New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) poll, while the Purple and Gold was receiving votes.

RECORDS

  • Saint Michael's (2-0, 2-0 NE10), Franklin Pierce (0-2, 0-2 NE10)

SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS

  • Senior Justin Richmond (New Market, Md./Linganore), 15-for-17 faceoffs, 10 ground balls
  • Sophomore Max Katavolos (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport), 3 goals, 2 caused turnovers
  • First-year Nathan Woods (Ottawa, Ontario/Kent School), 1 goal, 2 assists
  • First-year Kevin Riggs (Plainville, Mass./King Philip Regional), 2 assists, 3 ground balls
  • Junior Kyle Hirshom (Walpole, Mass./Walpole), 1 goal, 3 ground balls
  • Sophomore Alex Chirgwin (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury), 1 goal (game-winner)
  • First-year Peter Canning (Plainville, Mass./Xaverian Brothers), 1 goal
  • Senior Dominic Joy (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough), 17 saves
  • Sophomore Brian Sardella (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial), 5 ground balls, 5 caused turnovers
  • First-year Michael Cammarata Jr. (North Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep), 3 ground balls

OPPONENT LEADERS

  • First-year Conor Rooney, 3 goals
  • Sophomore Owen McCormack, 2 goals, 1 assist
  • Senior Kyle Fortier, 3 ground balls, 3 caused turnovers
  • First-year James Heitmiller, 13 saves

GAME FACTS

  • The Purple Knights are 2-0 in league play for the first time since 2013.
  • Saint Michael's defeated Franklin Pierce for the first time since 2013, as four of their past seven meetings have now been decided by one goal.
  • The hosts were outshot, 38-35, but held sizeable leads in ground balls (39-23), faceoff wins (15-2) and clearing success (19-for-24 to 20-for-30) while going 3-for-5 during extra-man opportunities.
  • Saint Michael's limited Franklin Pierce, which scored 15 goals in its last game, while allowing a single-digit goal total for the fifth straight game dating back to last year. It's the Purple Knights' longest such streak since a nine-game run in 2013.
  • Already the program record holder in career faceoff wins, Richmond pushed his total to 393 while adding to his ground ball figure (190), now trailing Peter Hanson '12 by four for second place.

THE ACTION

  • Neither team led by more than one goal during the opening half, as the Ravens nabbed one-goal advantages three times, only to see Saint Michael's counter each tally. Katavolos twice found equalizers during the opening quarter, and McCormack made it 3-2 with 2:18 left in the second before Woods tied the game off of first-year Dylan Morgan's (Ashland, Mass./Ashland) helper for a man-up goal with 53 seconds to go.
  • Rooney scored twice in a matter of 3:18 to give Franklin Pierce a 5-3 edge by 10:00 of the third.
  • Saint Michael's scored four of the final five goals, with Katavolos converting Woods' man-up feed at 6:12 before Canning knotted the game at 13:35 of the fourth, stopping on a dime before beating Heitmiller from straight on.
  • Rooney scored another man-up marker at 7:06 to give the Ravens their final advantage.
  • With a little less than three minutes to go, Hirshom forced a turnover, which quickly led to a Raven penalty, and Hirshom cashed on with the tying man-up goal at 1:59 thanks to a Riggs feed.
  • Richmond keyed a quick transition opportunity on the ensuing faceoff, winning the draw, scooping the ground ball and racing through the midfield before passing off for Chirgwin, who moved around a defender and fired home the eventual winner with 1:51 remaining.
  • Richmond won the next faceoff, as well, before the Ravens started a last possession at 24 seconds, but a final shot at the buzzer was blocked.

NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME

  • Saturday vs. regionally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University, 12 p.m.
  • The Penmen are fourth in this week's NEILA poll.