February 11, 2014

Queens Hangs Tough, But Falls to No. 5 Limestone

from press release

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After battling back-and-forth over the first three quarters, No. 5 Limestone (2-0, 0-0 CC) exploded for five fourth quarter goals, including three in 50 seconds, to post a 9-6 victory over Queens (0-2, 0-0 SAC) in an NCAA Division II men's lacrosse game on Tuesday, February 11. The entire game was played during the early effects of Winter Storm Pax, slowing down both team's offenses.
Sophomore attack Kyle Rhatigan (Holbrook, N.Y.) led the Saints with four points on a pair of goals and two assists, along with two groundballs, while sophomore attack Vinny Ricci (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) and sophomore midfielder Mike Messenger (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) each had each two scores. Ricci also added a pair of caused turnovers and a groundball.
Freshman midfielder Kevin Reisman (West Babylon, N.Y.) produced a tremendous game at the center "X" as he won 15-of-18 faceoffs and collected a game-high 10 groundballs. Senior midfielder Jamar Peete (Baltimore, Md.), senior attack Todd Nakasuji (Ajax, Ontario, Canada) and freshman midfielder Colton Watkinson (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) each added solo goals. Sophomore goal keeper Patrick Sheridan (Fairport, N.Y.) played all 60 minutes in goal, recording 10 saves and allowing six goals to earn the win and move to 2-0 on the season.
A back-and-forth affair the whole way, the Saints and Royals would enter the fourth period deadlocked at 4-4 as every goal came at a premium. After an exchange of goals by Limestone's Peete and Queens' Garrett Chan left the scored tied at 5-5 with 8:08 remaining the game would change dramatically.
Beginning with 5:43 left on the clock, the Saints late game offense struck again as they drilled three goals in a span of just 50 seconds. Mike Messenger notched that first goal and was followed just eight seconds later by Vinny Ricci.
Colton Watkinson then put the cap on the burst as he delivered the third goal at 4:53 to take it from a tie to an 8-5 Saints lead. They would stretch it to a four-goal margin on a Kyle Rhatigan score at 1:30 before QUC's Casey Hock found the back of the net at the 1:11 mark to reach the final margin of 9-6.
Faced with slick turf and unusual winter weather for the area, neither team could get their offense going in the opening quarter. That would be the first time Limestone had experienced a quarter in which neither team scored since April 17, 2009 when they defeated Belmont Abbey 7-4 in the Conference Carolinas Semifinals. That game saw the scoreless period in the fourth quarter.
After the scoreless stanza, both teams combined for six goals in the second as Messenger opened the scoring at 14:22 and was followed by the Royals' Hock just over a minute later. Vinny Ricci gave the Saints back the lead at 2-1 with 6:12 on the clock but Queens responded with back-to-back goals to retake the lead at the 46 second mark.
Seeming like they'd take that lead to the half, QUC was taken by surprise as Rhatigan delivered the equalizer with one second left on the clock for a 3-3 tie at the break. The third quarter would not see nearly the amount of scoring that the second did as the Royals' Justin Kestler found the back of the cage at 10:15 for a 4-3 lead. That wouldn't last long as Nakasuji notched the tying goal at the 8:30 mark, setting up the wild fourth quarter finish.
Hock led Queens with a pair of goals and Matthew Michael had a goal, assist and two groundballs while Garrett Chan  had a goal and two groundballs. Kestler and Evan Farkas recorded solo goals to round out the Royals' top performers.
Limestone returns to action this weekend as they host Saint Leo on Sunday, February 16. Face off for that contest is set for 12 p.m. at the Upper Practice Field.
Limestone now holds an 11-1 all-time record against Queens dating back to the first meeting on April 14, 2004.

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