March 9, 2014

Balanced 'O' Leads St. Joseph's Past Robert Morris

from Press Release

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team downed Robert Morris, 11-8, in Northeast Conference action at Joe Walton Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Four Hawks tallied two goals apiece and junior goalkeeper Dustin Keen made 10 saves as SJU improves to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in NEC play.

Saint Joseph's's 4-2 overall record is the best program record through six games since the 2000 team won its first six games of the season. Additionally, SJU's current 3-2 road record through its first five road games is the program's best road record through its first five games since the 2000 team went 3-2 on the road.

Down 7-6 at the half, SJU scored three unanswered goals and held Robert Morris scoreless through the third period to pull ahead, 9-7, heading into the final 15:00. During that run, redshirt senior attackman Ryan McGee scored his second goal of the game at the 10:26 mark to equalize the score at 7-7, and sophomore midfielder Bryan Garrahanand attackman Pat Swanick combined for a pair of goals in the final 2:15 of the third period.

At the 7:04 mark of the fourth, McGee found junior midfielder Mike Dougherty to extend SJU's lead by three goals, 10-7.

Robert Morris would respond with just three minutes remaining in regulation with its first goal since the end of the second period to pull two within two goals, 10-8. However Saint Joseph's senior midfielder Johnny Simanski tallied his second goal of the day wih 1:27 to go to lock down the win for the Crimson and Gray.

Robert Morris jumped out to an early 3-1 lead by the end of the first period, but SJU would close the gap on a pair of goals from Simanski and McGee to even the score, 3-3, with 9:56 remaining in the first half. From that point, neither team would pull to more than a one-goal differential for the remainder of the second period.

McGee (2G, 3A) and freshman attackman Michael Rastivo (2G, 1A) led the way on the offensive attack for the Hawks while Simanski and Dougherty chipped in two goals apiece. McGee has now tallied two or more points and scored two or more goals in six consecutive games this season while Dougherty now extends his point-scoring streak to nine games, dating back to April 20 of last season.

Keen (3-1) made 10 saves in a full-game effort to pick up his third win of the season.

For the game, Saint Joseph's owned advantages in shots (34-25) and ground balls (24-20) and dominated from the X, winning 14-of-23 total opportunities. Senior midfielder Will Abbott won all 14 of those face-off possessions in 22 attempts to boast a .636 percentage from the X and a game-high seven ground balls on the day.

Saint Joseph's returns home this Saturday, March against Richmond. Opening face-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field.

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