"Today was a huge win for us, as it helps keep our playoff hopes alive," said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. "We liked our matchup on offense but we had to limit our turnovers, which we did a phenomenal job of. We then shut the door on defense and played well on both ends to earn this victory."
Senior Simon Giourmetakis and freshman Tim Edwards led the Griffs with four points on the afternoon, each netting three goals to go along with one assist. Senior Jimmy Haney and junior Nick Caldiero added three points and two goals, while senior Travis Gibbons, sophomore Kevin Collins and freshman Brandon Bull rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal each.
Senior Sean Callahan recorded five saves in net for the Griffs, anchoring the defense along with classmates Brendan Murphy and Ryan O'Hagan. Murphy collected a career-best nine ground balls in the victory, while O'Hagan posted a game-high three caused turnovers.
The teams played back-and-forth lacrosse in the opening 30 minutes as the teams combined for five ties and three lead changes in the first half. The Keydets netted three-straight goals midway through the second quarter, grabbing their largest lead of the day, 6-4, with 6:50 remaining in the stanza. However, Caldiero and Haney finished the half with goals as the teams headed into the intermission knotted at six.
VMI netted the opening goal of third quarter, scoring just 12 seconds into the frame. However, Canisius responded with four-straight tallies to seize the advantage for good. Collins netted his first career goal to tie the game, scooping up a loose ball and finding the back of the net with 11:19 remaining in the period. Caldiero then netted his second goal with 7:41 remaining in the stanza and was followed with scores from Edwards and Giourmetakis for a 10-7 advantage.
The Keydets ended the run with the final goal of the third as the team's headed into the final quarter with Canisius ahead, 10-8. The teams then traded goals before VMI finally pulled within one with 2:50 remaining in the game, 12-11. Edwards would win the ensuing faceoff and eventually finished off the possession with his career-best third goal of the afternoon for the 13-11 victory.
The Griffs finished the game with a 30-28 advantage in shots in the victory. VMI won 23-of-28 faceoffs on the day but 24 Keydet turnovers to just 10 by Canisius proved to be the difference.
Keith Long led VMI with five points and four goals in the loss, while Matt Lindemann recorded nine saves.
Canisius wraps up MAAC play next weekend with a road game at Marist. The regular-season finale is set to begin at 4 p.m.
Game Notes: The Griffs honored 15 seniors prior to Saturday's contest ... The seniors totaled six goals, four assists, 19 ground balls and five saves in their final home game ... The three points and two goals for Caldiero are career-high totals ... Canisius, which was 1-for-6 with the extra-man, ended a streak of six-straight games with multiple man-up tallies ... The Griffs have now won nine of the last 10 meetings with VMI and lead the overall series, 11-4.