March 13, 2011

Hartford Wins Second Straight, Best Start Since '01

from press release

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Hartford men’s lacrosse team picked up its second-straight victory when it soared to a 14-9 defeat of Bellarmine University on Sunday afternoon at Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium. With the win, Hartford improves to 3-2 on the season, marking the program’s best start since 2001 when it opened the season 4-1 after its first five games. Bellarmine, which took last year’s contest in the first-ever meeting between the Hawks and Knights, falls to 2-4.

After jumping out to a quick 2-0 start with three minutes off the game clock, the Hawks, who never trailed in the contest, pushed their lead to 6-2 after the first quarter. Hartford continued to cushion its lead in the second quarter as it netted three scores to Bellarmine’s one to take a commanding 9-3 advantage at the half. The Knights went on to outscore the home team 6-5 in the final 30 minutes but were only able to come within five goals of the Hawks.

Sophomore Rory Nunamacher joined juniors Aidan Genik, Martin Bowes and Carter Bender in leading the Hartford offense with two goals apiece. Junior Ryan Compitello reached the back of the net once and dished out four assists for a game-best five points. Also contributing to the scoring with their first collegiate goals were rookies Adam Yee and Andrew Cacchio. Austin Bright scored two goals to lead the Knights.

Bowes’ fifth goal of the season less than three minutes after opening face-off gave the Hawks an early lead that they would hold on to for the remainder of the game. Following the junior’s goal, senior Tim Fallon won his face-off and outraced the Knights to the cage, delivering the Hawks’ second goal of the afternoon just six seconds later.

Bellarmine halved Hartford’s lead at the 9:59 mark with Bright’s first of two scores however the Hawks responded with two-straight goals out of the sticks of Bender and Genik to take a 4-1 lead. Following another Knights’ goal with 5:05 to play in the first, Hartford turned up the heat netting four of its own while keeping the visitors scoreless for a span of 14:19 to take the 8-2 advantage. The Knights and Hawks traded goals to close out the half with Hartford holding a 9-3 lead.

Genik opened the third quarter with his second goal to increase the Hawks’ lead to 10-3, their largest of the game. Andrew Bulgarelli and Devin Peurach hooked up with 5:09 remaining in the quarter to bring Bellarmine within five goals of the Hawks however Yee's first collegiate goal, assisted by Vinny Pellizzi, closed out the third and again boosted the Hartford advantage to six goals at 12-6.

The Knights again closed in on the Hawks' lead in the fourth quarter as Bright fired one in just two minutes into the final period but Bender and Bowes struck again at the 8:56 and 5:48 marks, respectively, to keep the game out of reach and prevent any hopes of a comeback.

The Hawks dominated their opponents in nearly every statistical category winning 16-of-27 battles at the face-off X while scooping up 47 ground balls to the Knights’ 38. Hartford was successful on 27-of-31 clear opportunities and converted on 1-of-4 man-up situations. In goal, Frank Piechota recorded 10saves on 41 shots faced while Bellarmine's Scott Bowles and Dill Ward split time, each stopping six shots.

Hartford continues its non-conference slate with a match-up at Bucknell on Wednesday, March 16, marking the first-ever meeting between the Hawks and Bison. Game time is scheduled for 12:00 noon.


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