The Canisius College men’s lacrosse team never trailed in a 14-10 upset at No. 13 Albany on Tuesday afternoon, posting the program’s first-ever win against a nationally-ranked school. With the win, the Griffs improve to 4-4 on the season, while the Great Danes drop to 3-4.
“We put all the pieces together today and played as a team,” said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. “We finally put the ball in the net today and controlled the X again to maintain possession. We did a good job of containing the Thompsons and Alex Govenettio made a couple of nice saves for us. It was a great team win where all facets were clicking. We were crisp with our passes and really communicated well. Overall, it was the best game that we’ve played this season so hopefully we can ride that momentum to Siena this weekend.”
Junior Tim Edwards recorded a career-best eight points in the win, scoring one goal to go along with a personal-best seven assists. The junior midfielder also won 9-of-13 faceoffs on the day, while collecting a game-high six ground balls.
Sophomore Vince Gravino matched his career high with four goals to lead the Canisius offense with junior Sam Connors and sophomore Nick Tuttle each netting a personal-best two tallies.
Senior Kevin Collins, juniors Brandon Bull and Jake Giarrano, sophomore Mike Vavonese and freshman Jeff Edwards rounding out the scoring for Canisius with a goal each.
Junior netminder Alex Govenettio anchored a strong Canisius defense to the victory. The goalie recorded 12 saves and held the nation’s top scoring offense to six goals fewer than its season average.
The Griffs netted the game’s first two goals in just 1:35 when Collins – a long-stick midfielder – scored his first of the season just 23 seconds into the contest with Tim Edwards adding a goal 72 seconds later. The schools would alternate tallies a couple of times before two-straight goals pulled Albany even at four with 10:47 remaining in the second quarter.
Canisius, however, would answer back immediately. Tim Edwards won the ensuing faceoff and fed Gravino for his first of the day just eight seconds later for the 5-4 Griffs advantage. Gravino added one final Canisius tally in the first half, while Albany added one of its own for a 6-5 Griffs lead at the intermission.
Albany tied the contest one final time with the opening goal of the second half but a three-goal run put Canisius ahead for good. Tim Edwards assisted on all three tallies – man-up goals by Bull and Connors sandwiched around a goal by Giarrano – as Canisius grabbed a 9-6 lead and never looked back. The nationally-ranked Great Danes would pull within two goals three more times but the Griffs had the answer each time. Vavonese then sealed the Canisius win with his first collegiate goal with 53 seconds remaining for the 14-10 upset victory.
Canisius won the possession battle against the nation’s top offense, outshooting the Great Danes, 43-33. The Griffs held Albany to more than 10 shots fewer than its season average. In addition, the Griffs won the battle at the faceoff X, 17-11, and dominated the ground ball battle, 35-21. Canisius also netted three man-up goals in the win – scoring more with the extra-man advantage in six tries on Tuesday than in its first seven games combined.
Albany was led by Miles Thompson, who recorded seven points, four goals and three assists. Blaze Riorden recorded 12 saves in net for the Great Danes.
Canisius now returns to conference play with another road trip to Albany to face Siena. The MAAC rivals are set to meet on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius has now won 2-of-3 meetings against the Great Danes with the road team claiming each of the three contests … Tim Edwards topped his previous career high of seven points, which he accomplished last year against Albany (5g, 2a) … He is the first Griff to record eight points in a game since Simon Giourmetakis had eight at Albany on March 10, 2012 … Edwards’ seven assists are also tied for the most by a Griff since the 1991 season, matching the mark set by Nick LoCoco against Colgate on March 2, 2008 (current coach Randy Mearns is the only Griff to record more in a game with nine assists against Hartford in 1990) … Edwards also entered the game ranked third nationally with a .690 faceoff percentage … Tuttle has scored two goals in back-to-back games after netting one in his first 19 collegiate games … Canisius had scored only two man-up goals in 19 chances before going 3-for-6 on Tuesday.