The Canisius College men's lacrosse team won its fifth one-goal game of the season, holding off a late Detroit rally for a 9-8 victory. The Griffs won their third-straight contest to improve to 5-6 on the season and 4-2 in MAAC play.
"At times, our offense and defense played well today," said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. "We needed to play more consistent and for a full 60 minutes but we were able to survive another comeback. We're excited and happy that we're 4-2 in conference and we just need to keep working on our game and improving."
Junior Adam Jones led the Griffs with four points, scoring two goals and adding a pair of assists. Junior Tom Vivian netted a career-best two goals, while junior Mike Rautenstrauch and sophomore Jimmy Haney each added two points on a goal and an assist. Sophomores Mike Allaire, Simon Giourmetakis and Brendan O'Hagan rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal apiece.
Sophomore Sean Callahan earned the victory in goal, stopping nine shots. Senior Dan Coates also anchored the Canisius defense, holding the MAAC's third-leading scorer, Detroit's Joel Matthews, without a point.
"I thought Tom Vivian had a good game with his two goals," Mearns said. "It was nice to have Tim Rowley back at faceoffs and he gave us a boost there. I also thought that Dan Coates had a really strong game, holding their top scorer without a point."
Vivian gave the Griffs the early lead, scoring an unassisted goal 2:42 into the contest. Allaire added to the Griffs advantage just over two minutes later when he scored his second goal of the season off a feed from Jones. Detroit cut its deficit in half with a goal but O'Hagan gave the Griffs a 3-1 advantage after one, scoring with 53 ticks left in the quarter.
Detroit (2-11, 1-5 MAAC) opened the second quarter with two goals to knot the game at three but Canisius responded with two goals of its own. Jones forced a turnover while the Griffs were a man-up, leading to Rautenstrauch scoring his first collegiate goal. Jones then gave Canisius a two-goal lead when he forced another turnover right in front of the goal and buried a shot. After Detroit pulled back to within one, Jones redirected Rautenstrauch's shot with one second remaining in the half as Canisius headed into intermission with a 6-4 advantage.
The Griffs continued to play solid in the third quarter, outscoring Detroit, 3-2, in the period to grab a 9-6 lead. Giourmetakis, Vivian and Haney each netted a goal for Canisius as the teams headed into the fourth with Canisius up by three.
In the fourth quarter, Detroit started a rally when Tyler Staruch scored two goals 67 seconds apart to pull within one, 9-8. However, the Titans were unable to score the equalizer. Callahan recorded a save with just over two minutes remaining and Canisius forced two Detroit turnovers to hang on for the victory.
The Titans outshot the Griffs, 37-27, which included a 13-2 edge in the fourth quarter. Canisius held the advantage in both faceoffs (11-8) and ground balls (37-27) to earn the victory. Matt Gregson led the Titans with three points on a goal and two assists, while A.J. Levell and Vince Diana combined to make 12 saves in goal.
Canisius returns to action next Wednesday, hosting Siena on Senior Day. Game time at the Demske Sports Complex is set for 3 p.m.
Game Notes: The schools were meeting for the first time ... All five of Canisius' wins this season have been by a goal ... The Griffs have won more one-goal games than any other school in the country ... Rowley won 10-of-17 faceoffs after missing four games due to injury ... Junior Nick LoCoco did not register a point for only the second time in 36 career games and for the first time against a MAAC school ... Vivian is the first Griff other than Jones to score multiple goals in a game since April 6 ... Jones moved into 11th place in the program's record book with 119 career points, passing former teammate Michael Blocho, who recorded 117 points from 2005 to 2008.