After a strong start to the game, the Canisius College men's lacrosse went scoreless for the final 40-plus minutes as Jacksonville netted the final five goals of the contest in a 9-8 victory on Saturday. The loss drops the Griffs to 2-6 on the season and 1-2 in MAAC play, while the Dolphins improve to 5-6 and 2-2 against league foes.
"It was a tale of two games," said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. "We got off to a great first half in every aspect but Jacksonville adjusted their defensive scheme and slowed the tempo of the game. They shut the door and it took us some time to adjust. With the game on the line, we hit two pipes. It is a game of inches and those inches hurt us today."
Senior Simon Giourmetakis led the Griffs with five points and three goals in the loss, while freshman Tim Edwards posted four points on a goal and a game-high three assists. Seniors Travis Gibbons and Jimmy Haney both added two tallies for Canisius.
The Griffs started the contest strong, netting six goals in the opening 15 minutes of play - matching its season high for goals in a period. After Jacksonville opened the scoring, Edwards knotted the game for the Griffs and then setup Giourmetakis for a man-up tally to give Canisius its first lead of the day, 2-1. The Dolphins tied the game before Giourmetakis once again gave the Griffs the advantage and Haney followed with tallies for a 5-2 lead.
Jacksonville answered with two goals but Giourmetakis completed his hat trick with just seven seconds remaining in the first quarter to give the Griffs a 6-4 advantage after one period of play.
Gibbons continued Canisius' good form into the second period, netting two goals - including one with a man advantage - to give the Griffs its largest lead of the day, 8-4, with 10:53 remaining. However, that was the last goal Canisius would net on the afternoon.
Jacksonville began its rally by scoring with 29 seconds left before halftime as the teams headed into intermission with Canisius leading, 8-5. The Dolphins then netted the only three goals of the third frame to square the contest at eight.
Canisius continued to generate chances and despite a 7-2 advantage in shots during the final quarter, the Griffs still couldn't find the back of the net. Cameron Mann put the Dolphins ahead with 6:08 remaining in regulation and Canisius' best opportunity following saw Haney's shot with just over a minute remaining that hit the pipe.
The Griffs finished the game with 31-22 advantage in shots on the afternoon and the team also won 13-of-20 faceoffs. Mann led the Dolphins with three goals, while Jacksonville's Peter DeLuca recorded nine saves in net, including each of the final seven shots on goal during the final 40 minutes of action.
Canisius continues conference play next Saturday at Siena. Game time is set for 1 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius was held without a goal in the second half for the first time since May 11, 2008 - a NCAA Tournament loss at Syracuse ... The Griffs scored on both of their man-up opportunities and have now scored multiple man-up goals in five-straight games ... Jacksonville has won both meetings in the series that began last season ... The game was the first for the Griffs in the state of Florida.