The Canisius College men’s lacrosse team built an early lead and held off a late Quinnipiac rally to earn an 11-10 victory on Saturday afternoon. The win pushes the Griffs to second place in the MAAC standings with a 6-5 overall record and 3-2 conference mark. The Bobcats drop to 5-5 on the season and 3-2 against MAAC foes with the loss.
“It certainly was a game of momentum shifts and our guys came up big when it mattered,” said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. “We shut the door in the final minute after a big Quinnipiac run in the fourth. Alex Govenettio had a great game and made two big saves on the Bobcats’ final possession. Offensively, we played great when we had the ball but we didn’t have possession much in the fourth. Overall, it was a great character win. We showed a ton of resolve to close this game out when momentum was clearly on Quinnipiac’s side and we found out a lot about ourselves today.”
Junior Tim Edwards led the Griffs with four points in the victory, netting two goals to go along with two assists. With his four points, Edwards becomes the 18th player in the program’s history and just the seventh midfielder to reach 100 career points. The junior now has 103 points on 43 goals and 60 assists during his collegiate tenure.
Sophomore Vince Gravino netted a game-high three goals in the winning effort, recording his fourth hat trick of the season. Sophomore Billy Jacobbi added two goals for the Griffs, while junior Austin Romantic also chipped in two points with a goal and an assist. Juniors Brandon Bull and Jake Giarrano and sophomore Nick Tuttle rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal each.
Junior Alex Govenettio anchored the Canisius defense with a career-best 14 stops, including a pair in the closing seconds to help the Griffs preserve the victory. Senior DJ Giacobbo and junior Adam Donner led Canisius with two caused turnovers apiece.
Quinnipiac scored the game’s first goal with 2:54 remaining in the first quarter but it was all Canisius for the next 30 minutes. It took only six seconds for the Griffs to erase the Bobcats’ only lead of the day with Edwards winning the ensuing faceoff and finding Jacobbi for the goal. The assist marked the 100th point in his career and Edwards quickly added to the total with his first goal of the game 81 seconds later for a 2-1 Canisius lead after one.
The Bobcats tied the game early in the second but Canisius ran off five-straight goals to take control of the contest. Gravino started the run with his first of three goals on the day, scoring with 12:52 remaining in the half. Tuttle and Giarrano quickly added unassisted goals as the Griffs netted three goals in a 2:07 span for a 5-2 lead. Gravino and Romantic then both tallied goals in the final four minutes of the half as Canisius headed into the intermission with a 7-2 advantage.
The Griffs continued to extend their lead in the third quarter. After the schools traded a pair of goals to open the stanza, Edwards scored and then found Gravino for a man-up tally as Canisius headed into the fourth and final quarter with an 11-4 advantage.
The final frame, however, was a different story as the Bobcats outshot Canisius, 25-4, in the fourth with a 10-1 advantage in ground balls and 6-1 edge in faceoffs. Quinnipiac scored two goals in the first 91 seconds of the period and then added a third with 9:15 remaining to pull within four, 11-7. Canisius was able to burn some clock through possession and a strong defensive effort but the Bobcats eventually found the back of the net with 3:32 remaining for the 11-8 score. Quinnipiac then added scores with 1:51 and 1:19 left in the game to get back within one, 11-10, for the first time since early in the second quarter.
The Bobcats won the ensuing faceoff and fired four shots in the final 81 seconds (with two on net) but Govenettio came up big with two final stops as Canisius held on for its third MAAC victory of the season.
Thanks to the fourth quarter, Quinnipiac finished the game with a 47-29 advantage in shots and 34-25 edge in ground balls. The Bobcats also won 19-of-25 faceoffs on the day.
Matt Diehl and Dylan Webster led Quinnipiac with three points and two goals in the loss, while Gill Conners recorded seven saves in net.
Canisius now takes a break from MAAC play for a pair of non-conference games next week with Binghamton up first. The two New York schools are set to meet on Tuesday at 7 p.m.Game Notes: The schools were meeting for the first time since 2006 … The road team won for the first time in six all-time contests … Govenettio’s previous career high in saves was 13 on two prior occasions … Canisius went 2-for-4 with the man advantage on Saturday. The Griffs have now scored at least one man-up goal in five straight games – going 9-of-20 (45.0 percent) during the stretch – after scoring only one man-up goal in the first six games of the season and 15 attempts (6.7 percent) of the season … Canisius has committed only one penalty in the last three games after not being called for one on Saturday … The 47 shots by Quinnipiac are the most by a Canisius opponent this season