The Canisius College men's lacrosse team couldn't overcome an early deficit at Robert Morris, falling to the Colonials, 15-11, on Tuesday night. The Griffs are now 2-4 on the season, while Robert Morris improves to 6-3.
"This certainly was a real battle between the lines - up and down and back and forth," said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. "Non-stop athleticism was on display today. I'm very proud of the effort of our players but we couldn't pick up a ground ball in the third quarter. That really hurt our chances of winning today. We also didn't bury our shots when we needed to and they were a much more advantageous team on the night."
Senior Jimmy Haney led the Griffs with five points and four goals in the defeat. Classmate Travis Gibbons chipped in four points and three goals, while seniors Brandon Bortignon, Simon Giourmetakis and Brendan O'Hagan plus freshman Cody Gould each added one tally.
Senior Sean Callahan recorded 10 saves in 40 minutes of action for Canisius in net, his fourth double-digit save performance of the season.
Freshman Brandon Bull turned in a strong performance at the faceoff X for Canisius, winning 7-of-10 restarts on the night in addition to a team-best six ground balls.
The schools traded goals early in the contest and with the game tied at two, Haney netted his second goal of the night to give Canisius a 3-2 advantage with 7:15 remaining in the first.
However, Robert Morris quickly answered with a goal just 10 seconds later, which ignited a 5-0 run. The Colonials capped the streak with 12:59 remaining in the second frame for a 7-3 lead. Canisius closed the gap to two by intermission with three of the final four goals of the half, including Haney's third tally of the game with just one tick remaining in the second for the 8-6 score after 30 minutes of play.
The Canisius offense, however, was unable to carry the momentum into the second half with the team netting only two man-up goals in the first 27 minutes following the intermission as the Colonials built a 14-8 advantage. The Griffs netted three of the final four goals of the game but the comeback bid ran out of time as the Colonials held on for the 15-11 victory.
Robert Morris finished the game with a 44-37 advantage in shots plus a 46-32 edge in ground balls. Jake Hayes led the Colonials with four goals and six points in the winning effort, while Dillon Pope recorded nine saves in net.
Canisius is off until next Tuesday, playing at Binghamton in non-conference action. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Robert Morris has won the last three games against the Griffs after Canisius took the first five games of the series ... The Colonials have averaged 15.3 goals per game in the three wins after averaging just 8.8 goals in the five Canisius victories to start the series ... Canisius has recorded multiple man-up goals in three-straight games ... The Griffs have converted 47.1 percent of their extra-man chances (8-17) in their last three contests after posting a 13.3 rate (2-15) in their first three games ... Gibbons has netted four hat tricks in six games this season ... The senior had zero in 30 games during his first three seasons at Canisius.