The Canisius men’s lacrosse team opened conference play with a 5-4 victory over Monmouth University at the Demske Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Griffins snap a three-game losing streak and even their overall record at 3-3, opening MAAC play with a win for the second consecutive season.
Junior Tim Edwards led the Golden Griffins with two goals to go along with 10 groundballs and a 9-for-12 performance at the faceoff X. Junior goalkeeper Alex Govenettio made nine saves for Canisius to pick up his third win of the season.
“We had to show a lot of resolve out there today and really battle Monmouth the whole game,” Canisius coach Randy Mearns said. “We got a lot of opportunities on the offensive end but just couldn’t bury those chances. Being able to win a faceoff with 12 seconds left, down a man in a one-goal game is huge.
“We’re excited to get a win to start MAAC play, and now we have a week to prepare and get ready for Detroit.”
Neither team could muster anything on offense on a cold day as Monmouth got on the board with just over five minutes left in the first quarter. Canisius knotted the scored with just under three minutes left in the quarter on the first goal of the day from Edwards.
The Hawks led 2-1 after the first quarter but Canisius scored two goals in 29 seconds early in the second quarter to take a lead the Griffs wouldn’t relinquish. Freshman Nick Binnert scored his first collegiate goal to make it 2-2 and then Edwards rifled one in from the right side for his second goal of the day.
Canisius extended its lead to 4-2 when junior Brandon Bull picked up a groundball after a shot from sophomore Vince Gravino was saved. Bull quickly shot it past the new Monmouth goaltender to put Canisius up by two goals.
The Hawks made it a one-goal game with 9:50 left in the third quarter. Neither team would score for nearly 22 minutes, but the Griffs went back up by two goals with 2:59 left. Canisius worked the ball around the perimeter with Bull finding sophomore Billy Jacobbi who found the upper corner to make it 5-3.
Monmouth scored a man-up goal with 12 seconds left to get within one goal, but Edwards clinched the game with a faceoff win. The junior continued to dominate at the faceoff X with nine wins on the day, including all three fourth-quarter opportunities.
Nick Hreshko made nine saves in the first half but received the loss. Garrett Conaway made seven saves in the second half for Monmouth (0-6, 0-1 MAAC).
Canisius concludes its three-game homestand next weekend when Golden Griffins host defending MAAC Champion Detroit. Game time at the Demske Sports Complex is set for noon.