March 30, 2013

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FitzMaurice Ties it, Wins it for Providence

from press release

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Providence College men's lacrosse team recorded its first BIG EAST win of the season with a 10-9 overtime win over Rutgers on Saturday, March 30 in Piscataway, N.J. The win marks the second BIG EAST win for the Friars since joining the conference in 2010, and Chris Gabrielli's first conference win as head coach of the Friars. Providence improves to 7-3 (1-2 BIG EAST), while Rutgers falls to 2-8 (0-3 BIG EAST).

Rutgers struck first at the 13:52 mark of the first quarter when Steve DiGivanni buried a feed from Nick Depaolera. Providence evened the game at 1-1 when junior Jak Wawrzyniak (Manchester, UK) tallied his first goal of the season with 12:19 left to play in the first. Wawrzyniak's goal was assisted by senior midfielder Josh Torres (Andover, Mass.). The Scarlet Knights took a 2-1 advantage when Matthew Klimchak capitalized on a man-up opportunity with 8:21 remaining in the first quarter. Senior attack JT Weber (West Hartford, Conn.) tied the game at two goals apiece to end the first quarter (3:28).

Rutgers paced the second quarter by out-scoring the Friars, 5-2. Scott Bieda opened the quarter with a goal at 14:37. Providence answered by notching back-to-back goals from juniors Andrew Barton (Timonium, Md.) and Sean Wright (Silver Spring, Md.) at 13:37 and 6:44, respectively. The Scarlet Knights closed the half on a 4-0 run and Rutgers carried a 7-4 lead into halftime.

Rutgers took its largest lead of the game, 8-4, with 7:32 left to play in the third quarter when Jacob Coretti's shot found the back of the cage. Weber scored back-to-back goals at 6:30 and 4:58 to bring the Friars within two, 8-6. Beida added Rutgers' final goal of the game with 36 seconds remaining in the third to increase the Scarlet Knights' lead to 9-6. The fourth quarter remained scoreless until the 2:19 mark when Wright notched his second goal of the game to close Rutgers' lead to two, 9-7. In the final minute of play the Friars tallied two goals to even the game at 9-9. Weber brought the Friars within one with 55 seconds remaining in regulation (9-8). Sophomore Greg FitzMaurice (Huntington, N.Y.) tied the game with 25 seconds left to play to send the game into overtime.

FitzMaurice brought home Providence's first BIG EAST win of the season when he buried a shot with 54 seconds left to play in overtime.

The Friars gave up a season low five turnovers and were successful on 18-of-18 clear attempts. In addition, the Friars out-shot Rutgers, 44-37.

Freshman goalie Jack Connelly (Kenilworth, Ill.) played all 60 minutes in goal for Providence and recorded 14 saves in the victory.

The only other BIG EAST victory recorded by the men's lacrosse program was a 15-11 win over then ranked No. 13/15 Villanova on April 28,2012 in Providence, R.I. Providence returns to action on Tuesday, April 2 when the Friars travel to New Haven, Conn. to take on Yale. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.

POST-GAME QUOTES:

Providence College Head Coach - Chris Gabrielli

"We try to put an equal value on every game that we play. There tends to be a little more excitement surrounding our BIG EAST opponents. Our guys were excited to compete with Rutgers due to the fact that Rutgers defeated them last season in overtime at home. I could not be happier to have been a part of the first conference win of the season, and my first conference win as head coach here at Providence."

"Our stats attest to the extent to which we were able to counteract our struggle to win face-offs tonight. We lost 15-23 face-offs but still were able to generate 44 shots. We cleared the ball at 100%. We had five turnovers which are the fewest number of turnovers in a game that I have ever been a part of. "

"Our offense was extremely efficient. We played excellent in six on six offense. As a team we got off 44 shots. Of those 44 shots, 10 reached the back of the cage and their goalie put forth an All-American performance with 25 saves. That means that 35-of-44 shots that we took landed on goal."

"JT Weber had a lot of great opportunities tonight. I was on him in the first half trying to get him to be more aggressive. He came out more aggressive in the second half and created a lot of scoring opportunities. "

I am extremely proud of our guys. We were down three goals (9-6) with a little under two minutes to play in the game. Our defense led the rally by generating opportunities for our offense. Greg FitzMaurice scored our final two goals to give us the victory and took advantage of big opportunities."

"Heading into overtime we told our guys not to treat anything differently. We told them to take the lessons that they learned throughout the game with them into overtime. We emphasized the importance of winning the draw and Ryan Shaw got better and better for us as the game went on. We generated three shots in extra time and FitzMaurice found the back of the cage to secure the win."

"If I had one word to describe tonight's win I would go with epic. Our guys scored three goals in the final two minutes of the game to send us to overtime. This past week has illustrated this teams' ability to compete in pressure situations. The adversity that this team has faced in previous years allows for them to handle deficits and pressure with poise. Earlier in the week we were down 7-2 to Bryant and were able to come out on top and tonight we trailed Rutgers 8-4. I could not be happier with the effort that our guys have put forth."

"After this week with two games on the road, and with two come from behind wins, our team morale is extremely high. Up next we have Yale which will be one of the best teams we have seen all season."


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