VICTOR, N.Y. - Junior Connor Kearnan recorded his fourth hat-trick of the season to pace a potent Griffs attack as Canisius defeated Marist, 17-6, in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s lacrosse action Saturday at the Pinnacle Athletic Campus.
With the win, Canisius moved to 3-3 on the year, picking up their first conference win of the season, while Marist moved to 4-3 overall.
Sophomore Mario Caito got the Griffs on the board at 7:41 of the first for an early 1-0 lead before Canisius added two goals over the final 0:35 of the quarter (Caito and junior Ryan McKee) to give the Blue and Gold a 3-0 lead at the end of one.
The Griffs continued their strong play to start the second, with Kearnan and junior Steven Coss scoring the first two goals of the frame for a 5-0 cushion.
Canisius held the Red Foxes scoreless over the first 20:16 of the contest before a goal from Jon Constant at the 9:44 mark of the second got Marist on the board and cut the Canisius lead to 5-1.
Senior Lewis Vaccaro got the Griffs back on track in the final moments of the second quarter, registering the final two goals of the frame to give Canisius a 7-1 lead at the break.
Out of the halftime break, the Golden Griffins scored the first three goals to cap their second 5-0 run of the game and take a 10-1 lead with 8:29 remaining in the third.
Marist would make a push, scoring three of the next four goals and tightening the gap to 11-4 with 12:39 to play in the match.
From there, the Griffs would once again take over offensively, closing the contest on a 6-2 run over the final 12:12 of the game to determine the final margin. Kearnan added his second and third goals of the evening during the spurt while McKee chipped in a goal and two assists.
Junior Liam Ganzhorn picked up his third victory of the season(3-3), making nine saves in the win.
Head Coach Randy Mearns’ Postgame Comments
“It was a great game for us. Liam Ganzhorn played phenomenal for us in net. Coach Murph (Brendan Murphy) put together a good game plan together for us defensively and our guys executed. Offensively, we just wanted to play fast. We feel like we have athletes, so we wanted to get up and down the field and we were able to do so tonight.
“Getting off to a good start in conference play is big. There is a ton of parity on our league with so many great teams, so if you can get an early win in league play it can give you some good mojo moving forward.”
• Canisius halted a four-game losing skid to Marist with Saturday’s victory. The Griffs are now 10-14 all-time against the Red Foxes.
• Canisius played its second game in five days and third contest of the season at the Pinnacle Athletic Campus in Victor. The Griffs are now 2-1 this season at the indoor facility
• The 17 goals scored by Canisius matched its season high in that category, set against Cleveland State on March 4.
• Canisius out-shot Marist, 37-23, for the contest, highlighted by a 9-3 edge int the second quarter.
• The Griffs were 4-for-6 in man-up situations while Marist was just 1-of-4 with the extra attacker.
• Junior Connor Kearnan recorded his second straight hat trick and his fourth of the season with his three-goal effort on Saturday.
• Freshman Daniel Balawejder recorded his first career point with an assist on Ryan McKee’s second-quarter tally.
• Freshmen Michael Sanzone and Holden Garlent led Canisius with four ground balls apiece.
• Junior Ryan McKee established a new career high with five points on Saturday. McKee also matched his previous personal best with three assists (Feb. 18 versus Dartmouth).
• Canisius hosts No. 8 Albany Tuesday in a 4 p.m. contest at the Demske Sports Complex.
• The game will be shown live on ESPN3.