The Canisius College men’s lacrosse team won its season opener for the first time since the 2002 campaign with a 9-3 victory at Boston University (0-2) on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Tim Edwards and sophomore Vince Gravino led the Griffs’ offense in the victory. Gravino recorded team bests with five points and four tallies, matching his career high in goals. Edwards recorded four points and a team-best three assists, while also dominating at the faceoff X. The junior set career highs with 11 faceoff victories (in just 13 attempts for an.846 winning percentage) and eight ground balls.
Junior Austin Romantic added two goals for Canisius, while junior Brandon Bull and sophomore Nick Tuttle rounded out the scoring for the Griffs with a goal each.
“Overall, it was a great team win,” said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. “The offense capitalized when it need to but was also sloppy at times. We had too many turnovers for our liking. Simply put, we have to do a better job but overall, it was our first game and we’ll continue to get better. Vince Gravino was also big for us and was able to find the net when we needed a goal.
“And what can you say about Tim Edwards?” Mearns said. “He won 80 percent of his faceoffs, eight ground balls, one goal and three assists and playing some of the best short-stick defense I’ve seen. Truly amazing.”
Junior Alex Govenettio anchored the Canisius defense with 11 saves in the winning effort, while the Terriers’ three tallies are the fewest for a Griffs opponent in five years. Junior Adam Donner and sophomore Rich Stapleton led the Griffs with two caused turnovers each.
“We have to give a ton of credit to our defense today,” Mearns said. “Alex Govenettio was stellar in net with 11 saves and the poles – led by Adam Donner – and midfielders played together and were very effective in their matchups.”
Gravino led the Griffs to the early advantage, factoring into the game’s first three goals. He netted the team’s first two tallies of the season just 20 seconds apart in the first quarter before setting up Tuttle for his first collegiate score in the second frame.
The Terriers pulled to within one with two goals just 12 seconds apart in the second but Edwards quickly ended any thoughts of a comeback, winning the ensuing faceoff and finding Romantic for the goal just 10 ticks later for the 4-2 lead. He then added an unassisted tally for a 5-2 lead at the intermission.
Gravino then netted the only goal of the third quarter for a 6-2 Canisius advantage through 45 minutes of action. The sophomore then finished off a 3-1 final frame as the Griffs cruised to the 9-3 victory.
Boston University held a 39-30 advantage in shots but couldn’t solve Govenettio in net. Canisius won 12-of-15 faceoffs and held a 31-23 edge in ground balls.
Three different Terriers tallied goals in the loss, while Christian Carson recorded 14 saves in net.
Canisius returns to action next weekend with a contest against Air Force in Denver. The schools are set to meet on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.
Game Notes: The Griffs had lost their last 11 season openers with their last victory in the season’s first game coming on Feb. 24, 2002 against VMI (13-7) … Canisius last allowed as few as three goals in a 9-3 victory against Mount St. Mary’s on April 4, 2009 … The schools were meeting for the first time as Boston University is in its inaugural season of men’s lacrosse.