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Offensive Surge Leads Men’s Lacrosse Past Vikings

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 03/04/2017
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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Canisius took advantage of a pair of lengthy runs and a potent offensive attack to defeat Cleveland State, 17-7, in collegiate men’s lacrosse action Saturday at Krenzler Field.

Senior Jeff Edwards matched his career high with seven points on four goals and three assists to pace the high-scoring Griffs (2-2). Junior Ryan McKee notched four goals and sophomore Mario Caito added three. Junior Connor Kearnan tallied two goals and added two assists for four points.

Jake Lewis scored two goals and added three assists while Nick Wendal finished with three goals and one assist for the Vikings (2-5).

Cleveland State held a 3-0 lead midway through the first half before Canisius rattled off eight unanswered goals to take control of the contest and build an 8-3 cushion.

McKee opened the game-changing stretch with a rebound tally at the 5:37 mark of first quarter before Edwards struck from close range with 2:25 remaining to make it a 3-2 contest after one.

A man-up strike from Vaccaro and a tally from McKee 44 seconds apart early in the second quarter gave the Griffs their first lead of the game, 4-3.

McKee added his third goal of the first half a little more than two minutes later to stretch the Canisius advantage to 5-3, while goals from freshman Carter Stefaniak, Caito and Edwards in a 1:34 span later in the frame made it an 8-3 contest.

A man-up tally by Cleveland State in the final minute of the second quarter temporarily halted the Canisius momentum, but the Griffs regained control by rattling off six straight goals to open the second half and build their largest margin of the game, 14-4.

Caito kicked off the second-half run with his second of the game just 2:57 into the third quarter before Edwards added his second of the contest on a feed from Kearnan to make it 10-4.

Caito buried his second of the quarter and McKee struck for his fourth of the game to close out the third frame while a pair of tallies from Kearnan to open the fourth gave Canisius its first double-digit advantage of the game.

Cleveland State countered with back-to-back tallies to trim the Canisius cushion to 14-6, but Edwards recorded his fourth goal of the game during a man-up situation to make a 15-6 contest.

The Vikings scored to once again make it an eight-goal contest midway through the fourth, but tallies from freshmen Adam Dunbar and Alex Hornung restored Canisius’ double-digit advantage and closed out the contest.

Junior Liam Ganzhorn made 12 saves in goal for Canisius while Caleb Espinoza made 13 saves for Cleveland State.

Head Coach Randy Mearns Postgame Comments

“We got off to a slow start again. The first six minutes we played a little unsettled. But, we were able to settle down and overall, we were a much better team after the opening six minutes. It was a great team win.

Daniel Balawejder had a strong game the faceoff X. Jeff Edwards had his best game of the season. Our offensive tempo was great. We had a variety of different goal scorers, which was good. We took a ton of shots; we were getting ground balls and we did a good job of clearing the ball. I thought our defense played very well and (Liam) Ganzhorn made 12 saves, which is great.

“It’s a great win for us to build upon. It sets some more foundation for us. We still have to figure out how to get off to a better start in games. It seems like we’re still coming out of the gate a little too slow, so we’ll continue to work on that as we get ready for Hobart.

Game Notes
- Saturday’s contest marked the first meeting between Canisius and Cleveland State. The game was also the first for the Griffs against an Ohio-based school since the 2000 season (Ohio Wesleyan).

- The 17 goals scored by Canisius were the most for the Griffs since a 20-6 victory over VMI on April 19, 2015.
- The Griffs held a 56-29 shot advantage for the contest, highlighted by a 14-4 advantage during the third quarter.
- Canisius was 16-of-28 at the faceoff X for the contest. The Griffs were 4-of-6 on draws in the first quarter and 4-of-5 at the X during the third frame.
- Canisius forced Cleveland State into eight failed clearing attempts during the game. The Vikings were just 3-of-8 on clear attempts during the first half.
- Junior Jeff Edwards matched his career high with seven points (4g, 3a) on Saturday. He equaled his total set against Manhattan on April, 9, 2016. Edwards is now also just two points shy of reaching the 100-point plateau for his career.
- Edwards also established a new career high with four goals, eclipsing his previous personal best of three set on three occasions.
- Junior Ryan McKee matched his career high with four goals on Saturday. McKee matched his previous personal best, set against Binghamton on April 12, 2016.
- Junior Liam Ganzhorn recorded double-digit saves for the second time this season and the ninth time in his career as he finished with 12 saves.
- Freshmen Adam Dunbar and Alex Hornung both recorded their first collegiate goals during the fourth quarter.

Up Next
Canisius completes its four-game road swing March 14 with a 7 p.m. contest at Empire State rival Hobart. 

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