WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Bryce Wasserman scored five goals to pace Monmouth to an 11-6 victory over visiting Canisius in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s lacrosse action Friday at Hesse Field.
Wasserman’s five-goal day highlighted an otherwise balanced Hawks (11-3, 5-0 MAAC) attack as Eamon Campbell finished with four points on two goals and two assists while four players chipped in one goal apiece.
The win also secured Monmouth the program’s first MAAC regular season title and the No. 1 seed for the upcoming MAAC Men’s Lacrosse Championship, slated for May 5-7 at Marist’s Tenney Stadium in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.,
Sophomore Mario Caito scored two goals and four players – senior Lewis Vaccaro and juniors Steven Coss, Eric Gold and Blake Rickan – chipped in one goal each for the Griffs (5-8, 3-2 MAAC), who clinched a berth into the league championship thanks to Siena’s victory over Quinnipiac earlier in the day.
Junior Connor Kearnan dished out a game-high three assists.
The teams traded single goals in the early going before consecutive strikes from Wasserman gave Monmouth a 3-1 edge midway through the first quarter.
Caito trimmed the Canisius deficit to 3-2 a little more than a minute later, only to see the Hawks counter with another pair of tallies to extend their margin to 5-2 after one.
The Griffs cut into the Monmouth advantage during the second quarter as Caito and Coss tallied the only two goals scored in the frame to make it a 5-4 contest at the break.
Campbell restored Monmouth’s two goal advantage less than 40 seconds into the third, but Gold responded for Canisius a little more than five minutes later to make it a one-goal game again, 6-5.
The Hawks stretched their lead back to three before the end of the third, taking advantage of goals from Campbell and Wasserman to carry an 8-5 margin into the fourth.
Vaccaro kept the Griffs within striking distance when he found the back of the net with a little more than 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter to make it an 8-6.
That would be as close as Canisius would get, however, as Monmouth used goals from
Sean Tornetta, Griffin Figel and Tyler Keen during a 3:47 stretch in the later stages of the fourth to pull away and determine the final five-goal margin.
Nick Hreshko recorded seven saves for Monmouth. Junnior Liam Ganzhorn finished with eight saves in goal for Canisius.
- Canisius moved to 1-3 against Monmouth as the Hawks won its third straight contest in the series. The Griffs have fallen in their two appearances at Hesse Field.
- Monmouth held a 39-20 advantage in shots taken during the game. The Hawks were credited with 20 of the 30 shots recorded during the second half.
- Monmouth held a 13-8 advantage in faceoffs won. The Hawks won 6-of-8 draws contested in the first half and 4-of-5 faceoffs held during the fourth quarter.
- Monmouth held a commanding 28-12 advantage in ground balls, highlighted by a 15-6 margin during the second half.
- Junior Connor Kearnan recorded three or more assists in a game for the third time this season. Kearnan also moved into sole possession of 12th place on the program’s single-season points list as he now has 53 points to his credit this season.
- Junior Blake Rickan became the second Canisius player in as many contests to record his first career goal when he struck at the 12:05 mark of the first quarter.
- Freshman Holden Garlent paced Canisius with a game-high four ground balls.
- Canisius closes out the regular season April 28 when it hosts Quinnipiac in a 4 p.m. contest at the Demske Sports Complex.
- The contest serves as the program’s senior day, with the team honoring its six senior student-athletes in a ceremony prior to the start of the contest.
- The game will be shown live on WatchESPN.