Fueled by a school-record performance by senior Mike Moran at the faceoff X, the Canisius College men’s lacrosse team earned its second-straight win with a 12-11 victory against Binghamton on Monday night at the Demske Sports Complex. Moran broke his own program mark with 22 faceoff victories as Canisius improved to 3-8 on the season.
“Obviously, Mike Moran was huge for us today,” said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. “Joe Rautenstrauch also had a big game for us and we just continue to get better every game and every practice this season. It got a little dicey at the end and we are still trying to put a full 60 minutes together but the resiliency we showed in the final 90 seconds to hold them off for the win was huge.”
Moran’s career day sparked the Griffs to the victory. The senior won his 22 faceoffs in just 27 attempts for a .815 winning percentage. He also added his first collegiate goal to go along with one assist for two points on the offensive end.
Senior Joe Rautenstrauch also enjoyed a career day for Canisius, setting personal bests with six points and five goals in the win. Sophomore Tim Edwards added four points and three goals, while freshman Billy Jacobbi chipped in two tallies. Sophomore Austin Romantic recorded two points on a goal and an assist with sophomore Sam Connors pacing the Canisius attack with two assists.
Moran helped the Griffs get off to a quick start in the contest, winning all eight faceoffs in the opening period. Canisius took advantage when Rautenstrauch scored his first of the day just 42 seconds into the game and then Moran followed with his first collegiate goal just six seconds later off a faceoff win, quickly showing a sign of things to come in the battle at the faceoff X.
The Bearcats (5-7) twice pulled to within one in the first quarter but at 3-2, Canisius started to pull away with the final two tallies of the opening period. Jacobbi scored a man-up goal with 2:20 remaining and Rautenstrauch then completed his hat trick with 1:34 left in the first for the 5-2 advantage after 15 minutes of action.
Binghamton once again pulled to within one, 5-4, with 7:21 left in the second quarter but another strong finish to the period gave the Griffs a 7-4 halftime lead. Romantic netted his 11th of the season with 3:08 remaining in the quarter and Edwards then finished the scoring in the half with just seven seconds left for the three-goal advantage at the intermission.
The momentum carried over into the second half for the Griffs, quickly extending their lead to six just 2:05 into the third. Jacobbi tallied his second of the day 61 seconds into the quarter and then Edwards scored six seconds later, coming off a feed from Moran on a faceoff victory. Rautenstrauch then finished the run for a 10-4 lead with 12:55 left in the period. Binghamton answered with two tallies but goals by Edwards with 3:14 left in the period and Rautenstrauch with just nine seconds remaining in the third gave the Griffs a 12-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats, however, did not go away quietly and slowly got back into the contest. Binghamton scored five-straight goals in the final quarter and finally pulled back within one with just 1:32 remaining in regulation, 12-11.
Like he did all night though, Moran came up big once again with his 22nd faceoff victory of the day on the ensuing restart and then found Jacobbi open. The rookie was then tripped up with 70 seconds left in the game, giving the Griffs a one-minute man advantage. Canisius was able to take advantage and successfully killed the clock for its second-straight win.
The Bearcats finished the game with a slight edge in shots, 38-36. The Griffs, however, controlled possession thanks to Moran winning 22-of-27 faceoffs and the team finished with a 33-18 advantage in ground balls on the night.
Matt Springer led the Bearcats with six goals, while Max Schefler took the loss in net with 11 saves.
Canisius looks for its third-straight win on Saturday, returning to MAAC action with a home game against Jacksonville. The schools are set to meet at the Demske Sports Complex beginning at 11 a.m.
Game Notes: Moran set the previous school record in faceoff victories on March 9 against Albany, winning 20-of-25 restarts that day … Moran’s 22 faceoff wins are the seventh-most in the country this season … The senior is also just the fifth player this season to win at least 20 faceoffs in two games … Rautenstrauch’s previous career high was three goals against VMI on March 16 … The Griffs outscored a team in the third quarter for the first time this season (5-2). Canisius entered the game being outscored 40-10 in the third this year … The Griffs earned their first win against Binghamton and is now 1-2 against the Bearcats.