The Canisius College men's lacrosse team couldn't overcome a 5-0 second-half run by Albany as the Great Danes edged the Griffs, 12-11, on Saturday afternoon at the Demske Sports Complex. The Griffs are still in search of their first victory of the season at 0-4, while Albany improves to 3-2.
"We're not getting the results that we're looking for but we're definitely getting better as a team," said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. "For us, it's the little things that are costing us right now. It's all heart out there and there is some good chemistry, but at the end of the day, we have to take care of the little things to be more successful."
Sophomore Tim Edwards and senior Mike Moran both had career days for the Griffs. Edwards set career highs with seven points and five goals, including each of the last three Canisius tallies as the team attempted a comeback. Moran dominated the faceoff X for the Griffs, winning 20-of-25 restarts. His 20 faceoff wins are the most in the program's history, surpassing the previous record of 18, while the senior also set a career high with 12 ground balls.
Sophomore Brandon Bull added two goals for the Griffs with senior Kevin Lalley, junior Cody Soberanes, sophomore Austin Romantic and freshman Vince Gravino each adding a tally.
Senior Nick Carrasco anchored the team's defensive effort on the day, recording 16 saves in his first collegiate start.
The teams traded goals three times to start the game until a strong finish to the first half gave the Griffs the advantage. Trailing 3-2, Lalley netted his second goal of the season off a feed from sophomore Cody Gould to tie the contest with 7:33 remaining in the half. Bull then gave the Griffs their first lead of the game with his first of the day with 4:04 left before Edwards finished the scoring with his second score of the afternoon as the teams headed into the intermission with Canisius leading, 5-3.
The Great Danes quickly erased the lead with two goals in the first 3:09 of the second half but the Griffs answered right back. Just 36 seconds following the game-tying tally, Gravino scored an unassisted goal as Canisius reclaimed its lead, 6-5. The Great Danes were also called for a penalty on the goal and the Griffs took advantage when Bull scored off a feed from Edwards for the 7-5 lead with 10:23 remaining in the third quarter.
Albany, however, would take the lead with a 5-0 run and never give it back. The Great Danes scored the final four goals of the third quarter and the first of the fourth for a 10-7 advantage with 11:13 remaining in regulation.
Edwards and the Griffs did not give up, however, and nearly pulled off the comeback. The sophomore set up Soberanes for the first goal of his career to end the Albany run and Edwards then scored an unassisted goal with 9:11 remaining to bring Canisius within one, 10-9. Will Stenberg gave the Great Danes back their two-goal advantage but Edwards scored another unassisted goal with 4:48 left for the 11-10 score. However, once again Albany answered when Ty Thompson gave the Great Danes a 12-10 lead with just 97 seconds remaining.
The Griffs won the faceoff following Thompson's goal and the Great Danes elected to face guard Edwards and deny the sophomore the ball. Canisius burned its final timeout of the game and off the restart, Edwards started with the ball behind the cage, ran out front and scored a great goal on a turnaround with a defender in his face to cut the deficit to one, 12-11. Albany, however, would win the ensuing faceoff and burn the clock to seal the victory.
Albany finished the game with a 42-34 advantage in shots with the Griffs winning 22-of-27 faceoffs on the day. The Griffs also collected 40 ground balls to 32 for the Great Danes.
Ty Thompson led Albany with four points and three goals in the winning effort, while Blaze Riorden recorded eight saves in net.
The Griffs continue non-conference action on Tuesday with a road game at Hobart. The contest is slated to start at 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Five times a Canisius player previously won 18 faceoffs in a game (Bill Reighter, vs. Siena, 4/16/93; Mark Miyashita - vs. Quinnipiac, 3/26/00; vs. Providence, 3/12/00; vs. Siena, 4/16/00; Tim Rowley, vs. Saint Joseph's, 4/14/07) ... The series between the two schools is now tied at one with the road team winning each contest ... Edwards' previous career highs were four points and three goals ... Moran, who spent one season at Albany, topped career highs of 14 faceoff wins and 11 ground balls against Marist last season ... Canisius last won 20 faceoffs as a team on April 21, 2007 against Mount St. Mary's ... Canisius is being outscored by 17 goals in the second half (33-16), compared to only four goals in the first half (18-14).