April 6, 2011

Rookie Leads No. 6 Stevens Over Hartwick

from press release

– Freshman attack Christian Saley erupted for six goals – the highest output in his young career – while junior Rich Dupras found the back of the visitor's net five times as the Stevens Institute of Technology men's lacrosse team, ranked sixth in the latest USILA Coaches Poll and off to the best start in the program's illustrious 127-year history, earned a 22-12 victory over Empire 8 rival Hartwick College at the De Baun Athletic Complex in Hoboken, N.J. With the win, undefeated Stevens improved to 11-0 overall on the season with a 3-0 league ledger, while the Hawks fell to 5-5 on the year and 0-3 against conference opponents.

Hoping to wrestle control of the game early, the Ducks mounted a 4-0 run over the first seven and a half minutes, taking a three-goal edge. Senior co-captain Chris Laurita got things started with the opening tally at 13:14, before Saley netted consecutive markers over a three minute span to make it 3-0. Senior midfielder and co-captain Brandon Faubert capped off the Stevens stretch with an unassisted goal at 7:20.

Settling in, Hartwick would outscore the Ducks 2-1 over the final five minutes of the first, getting on the board on a Phil Schaefer (Holbrook, N.Y.) goal before sophomore Joe Shields (Loudonville, N.Y.) netted a score that made it 5-2 Stevens just under three minutes after Laurita's second tally.

Looking to continue to build their momentum, the Hawks kept things rolling to start the second, getting three quick goals from Schaefer, sophomore attack Harry Hughes (Holtsville, N.Y.) and freshman Brian Finnegan (East Northport, N.Y.) to suddenly deadlock the game at five. Undaunted, Stevens rallied, responding with a 5-0 run of its own over a two-minute span, to build a 10-5 margin.

Dupras got things started with a man-up goal off a Faubert assist, before Saley converted another man-up situation less than 15 seconds later. The Montville, N.J. freshman struck again just 22 seconds after recording a hat-trick, pushing the Ducks' lead to 8-5 on his fourth marker, before consecutive Alex Hofrichter goals extended the Stevens advantage to five.

Trying to keep pace, Hughes fired three-straight shots into the Stevens' net, pulling the Hawks' within two, but Laurita scored a short-handed goal with just 2:34 to go before the half to put the Ducks up three heading into the intermission.

Hoping to put things away, the Ducks outscored Hartwick 4-2 in the third, taking a 15-9 lead on Hofrichter's third score of the game. With Stevens up five to start the fourth, Dupras netted two of the game's next three tallies, kicking-off a 7-2 Ducks' run down the stretch as the home team secured a 22-12 win. Dupras netted four of Stevens' seven goals in the final frame, with Faubert and Saley combining for the other three markers.

Saley led all scorers with six goals, while Faubert added three goals and three assists. Saley finished with a game-high seven points on five goals and a pair of helpers, while Hofrichter and Laurita each finished with a hat-trick. Sophomore midfielder Nicolas Philippi chipped in with a pair of scores, while fellow sophomore Brian Seldeen registered an assist.

Junior Michael Steinhauser paced Stevens with 13 ground balls, going 23-for-31 from the 'X', while freshman Tim Culloty and senior co-captain Jacob Messimer each added seven ground balls. Fellow senior Matt Marks helped cause a team-high three turnovers, while junior Eric Yando made nine saves, improving to 11-0 on the season.

Hughes and Schaefer paced Hartwick with four goals each, while senior midfielder Ian Skudin (Long Beach, N.Y.) had three assists. Freshman Matt Varney (Queensbury, N.Y.) picked-up a team-high five ground balls, while junior James Curcio (Farmingville, N.Y.) caused a game-best four turnovers. Sophomore goalkeeper Carl Lengel (Lynbrook, N.Y.) made 14 saves, while surrendering 22 goals in the loss – his fifth of the year.

Stevens, which again held a decisive shot advantage (63-to-25), while going a perfect 14-for-14 on clears, returns to action on Saturday, April 9 against USILA No. 16 St. John Fisher College, in what will serve as the squad's Duck Country event.

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