No. 16 St. Lawrence Holds Off Hamilton
from press release
The No. 16 St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team celebrated "Senior Day" on Saturday, as the program recognized the 11 members of the Class of 2009 that were playing their final regular season game at North Country Field. The seniors responded by scoring nine of the team's 13 goals in a tidy 13-9 win against Hamilton College to clinch the Saints' fourth consecutive Liberty League regular season crown.
St. Lawrence (10-3, 6-0) won its 30th consecutive Liberty League game after outshooting the Continentals
(3-10, 1-5) 54-26 in the contest. Senior P.J. Santora was a sparkplug for the Saints, as he scored a goal and won 19-of-25 face-offs while scooping up a game-high 11 ground balls.
"P.J. (Santora) showed why he is one of the premier face-off specialists in the country today," said
St. Lawrence head coach Mike Mahoney. "Hamilton tried several different players in the face-off circle to try and neutralize him, but he was still able to come away with crucial wins that gave us possessions late in the game."
Though St. Lawrence built a two-goal cushion after the first quarter, Hamilton remained within striking distance thanks to the play of rookie goalie Max Vaickus. Though he allowed four goals, he helped the Continentals weather the storm early with nine saves in the opening stanza.
Senior Peter Carroll opened the game's scoring with a goal only 2:32 into regulation. Santora then won the ensuing draw clean, scooped up the ground ball and fired a shot past Vaickus for his first goal of the 2009 campaign only six seconds after Carroll's goal for a 2-0 lead.
Hamilton came right back with a pair of goals, scored by Max Akuamoah-Boateng and Andy Simon to knot the score at 2-2. However, senior Alex Slauson and rookie Caldwell Rohrbach picked up goals only 57 seconds apart to re-establish the home team's two goal lead at 4-2.
The goals late in the first quarter swung the momentum in St. Lawrence's favor, as they rattled off five consecutive goals to build a 7-2 lead. Seniors Kyle Benton and John Allen got into the scoring with goals only 1:42 seconds apart for a 6-2 advantage, while Carroll made it 7-2 with 9:05 left to play in the second quarter. Despite Hamilton scoring twice on goals by Alex Duncan and Simon, senior Collin Moon ended the half on a high note for St. Lawrence with a score at 12:29 to put the Scarlet and Brown on top 8-4 at the intermission.
The Continentals turned to Peter Gerrity in the second half, and he responded in style with four goals. He opened the third quarter scoring at 1:18, and after Slauson answered for St. Lawrence, Gerrity beat the Saints' senior goal Thomas Hollingsworth again to pull Hamilton back to within three at 9-6 with 4:53 remaining in the quarter. However, Carroll and junior Scott Smith would build the Saints' lead back to five with goals before the horn to bring the score to 11-6 after 45:00 minutes of play.
Rohrbach seemingly put the game out of reach when he scored only 14 seconds into the quarter to put the Scarlet and Brown ahead by their largest margin at 12-6. Though Gerrity tried to chip away for Hamilton with two consecutive goals to pull his team back to within four at 12-8, first-year student James Hutson took a pass from Smith just outside of Vaickus' crease and beat the goalie for a 13-8 lead with only 3:20 left in the game. Stephen Lefebvre would score the final goal of the game for the Continentals with 3:20 left to bring the score to 13-9.
St. Lawrence finished 23-of-25 in clearing chances, while Hamilton struggled at times to solve the Saints' defense and closed with a 23-of-34 mark. The two teams combined for 47 turnovers in the game, while
St. Lawrence finished with a comfortable 45-36 edge in ground balls. They also scored twice on man-up tries (2-of-4) while Hamilton finished 1-of-3.
Hollingsworth made seven saves in 56:40 minutes of action while allowing eight goals, improving to 9-3 on the season for St. Lawrence. Cochran made one save in his stead while allowing the game's final goal. Vaickus closed with 17 saves for Hamilton in the loss.
Prior to the start of the game, St. Lawrence honored its 11 seniors including Santora, Carroll, Slauson, Moon, Allen, Hollingsworth, Carl Festa, Kyle Benton, Nick Stefans, Chris Farr and Tom Guest. The Class of 2009 has never lost a Liberty League game, winning four straight conference regular season titles and three tournament championships. They will enter the 2009 post-season with a combined 43-13 record.
St. Lawrence will be the top seed in the 2009 Liberty League Tournament and will face either Skidmore or Union next Friday, May 1 at North Country Field.
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