April 2, 2013

Down 6-1, Manhattan Rallies to Beat Wagner

from press release

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Taking a brief respite from Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play, the Manhattan men’s lacrosse team visited area rival Wagner on Tuesday afternoon. Trailing 7-3 with four minutes left in the first half, Manhattan outscored Wagner nine to four the rest of the way holding on to a 12-11 road victory at Hameline Field. The victory marked the end of the Jaspers (3-8, 0-2 MAAC) non-conference schedule and snapped a two game losing streak.

Things began very grim for Manhattan as the Seahawks (1-8) went up 3-0 in the first four minutes of the game. Brian McGrath finally got the Jaspers on the board with 8:07 to go in the first when he finished a feed from Patrick Hodapp. Wagner responded with two more goals at the end of the quarter from Griffen LeClaire and Brian Faughnan before Colin O’Rourke made it 6-1 to start the second.

Jimmy Rogers started a mini-run for Manhattan, notching the first goal of his collegiate career. He then got his first assist less than a minute later on a Marcel Godino tally to cut the deficit in half. However, the Seahawks would again regain momentum. Both Nick DePhillips and Cory Santor beat starting goalkeeper Rich Akapnitis to push the advantage back to five. From that moment on the Jasper offense took over, scoring six straight goals in the next 7:29 of game time.

While the defense clamped down, Hodapp and McGrath each found the back of the net before Ryan Payton scored the first of his three goals to make it 8-6 Wagner at the half. Out of the break, Manhattan got three more goals from Tyler Jarvis, Greg Smith and Brett Madarasz to take their first lead of the game at 9-8 with 11:41 to play in the third.

Despite Wagner’s David DeCirce tying the game up a mere 90 seconds later, Payton and Jarvis each registered man-up goals to put the Jaspers ahead 11-9 before DePhillips ended the period with a goal to make it a one-score game.

LeClaire, who led all players with four points, tied the game up at 11 apiece with his third goal of the game to begin the scoring in the fourth. From that point on, both defenses stood strong withstanding shot after shot. It would be Manhattan’s will that prevailed as Hodapp found Payton with just 2:36 remaining for the game winning goal. The Seahawks would continue to look for the equalizer, even having an extra-man opportunity late, but could not convert.

Smith was huge for the Jaspers, winning 16 of 24 face offs along with picking up a game high 10 ground balls. He led a Manhattan team that had 30 ground balls to Wagner’s 24 and went 16-27 in face offs.

"Greg was the difference today," said Head Coach Steve Manitta. "To get possessions off the faceoff and have opportunities to score is something this team has struggled with this season."

Payton led all Jaspers with three goals while Madarasz and Hodapp (one goal, two assists) each tied him for the team high with three points.

The defense also stepped up, forcing 14 turnovers including seven in a critical third period. They held Wagner to just 16-20 on clear attempts and a mere 2-7 on extra-man opportunities while converting on two of their three EMO’s.

A change in net was also key for the Jaspers as Michael Wiatrak played the entire second half, making seven saves and allowing just three goals to earn the win. The sophomore’s biggest stop came with three second remaining to preserve the victory. Akapnitis finished the day making four saves Nicholas Gibaldi made 15 for Wagner.

Manhattan now returns to league play as they travel to Detroit, Mich. to take on the Titans of Detroit on Sat., April 6. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m. from Titan Field.


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