VICTOR, N.Y. – Junior Connor Kearnan tallied a career-high nine points and junior Liam Ganzhorn matched his career high with 14 saves to lead Canisius to a 13-8 victory over Dartmouth in collegiate men’s lacrosse action Saturday at the Pinnacle Sports Complex.
In the season opener for both schools, Kearnan tallied four goals and added five assists to spearhead the Griffs attack. Junior Ryan McKee and sophomore Mario Caito chipped in two goals apiece while five players tallied one goal each. Ganzhorn, meanwhile, came up big for the Griffs during the fourth quarter as he registered seven of his 14 saves in the final frame to keep Canisius in the lead.
Richie Loftus finished with three goals and Jack Korzelius chipped in two to lead the Big Green.
Keeper George Christopher finished the contest with 10 saves.
Dartmouth held a 1-0 lead before Canisius rattled off four unanswered goals over the final 2:57 of the opening frame to build a 4-1 advantage.
The Big Green opened the second quarter with back-to-back tallies to make it a 4-3 game, only to see the Griffs score three of the final four goals of the half to take a 7-4 lead into the break.
Kearnan found the back of the net twice in the opening 1:51 of the third quarter and junior Steven Coss scored at the 10:46 mark of the frame to give Canisius its largest lead of the game, 10-4.
Dartmouth closed out the third quarter with three straight goals and added a fourth unanswered tally at the 10:05 mark of the final frame to make it a 10-8 contest.
That would be as close as the Big Green would get, however, as Canisius notched the last three goals of the game in the final 4:19 to determine the five-goal margin of victory.
Head Coach Randy Mearns Postgame Comments
“Our guys have been preparing for 174 days for today. There are some things we need to work on, but it was a great performance by our guys today.
“It was a team effort. When we need (Liam) Ganzhorn to make some saves, he did today and in the fourth quarter he was the standout. Our bench was awesome; they brought a lot of energy. Connor Kearnan had himself a great day, but we had a lot of different goal scorers.
“Although we found a way to win in the fourth quarter, we allowed them back into the game after building a big lead in the third quarter. We lost our composure a little bit, and that’s something we had to improve upon.”
- Saturday’s contest marked the first meeting between Canisius and Dartmouth.
- Dartmouth out-shot Canisius, 42-33, for the contest, highlighted by a 23-12 advantage in the second half.
- The Griffs posted a 14-11 edge in faceoffs. Freshman Daniel Balawejder was 12-of-20 at the faceoff X to pace Canisius. Balawejder also led Canisius with six ground balls.
- Both teams were 17-of-18 in clear attempts for the contest.
- Dartmouth was 2-for-8 with the extra attacker while Canisius was 0-for-1. The Griffs did score while a man down as junior Connor Kearnan found the back of the net while the Griffs were shorthanded in the second quarter.
- Junior Connor Kearnan established new career highs for goals (4), assists (5) and points (9) in a game with his performance against Dartmouth Saturday. Kearnan drew assists on the final three Canisius goals of the contest.
- Junior Liam Ganzhorn matched his career high with 14 saves on Saturday, equaling his total against Robert Morris on April 19, 2016.
- Sophomore Mario Caito matched his career high with two goals on Saturday, equaling his previous personal best against Marist on March 26, 2016.
- Canisius heads to Colorado next weekend to face Air Force and host Denver in the Pioneer Face-Off Classic.
- The Griffs open the event Feb. 25 in a 1 p.m. EST contest against the Falcons
- Canisius completes its visit to the Mile-High City Feb. 26 when squares off with host and No. 1-ranked Denver in a 3:30 p.m. EST matchup.