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MLAX Fights, Falls Short In Program Opener

MLAX Fights, Falls Short In Program Opener

WEST HARTFORD, Conn.  Freshman midfielder Eliel Duquene (Stamford, Conn.) scored the first goal in program history, but the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's lacrosse team was unable to stop the Mariners of Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) for four quarters, falling 9-4 in the first-ever men's lacrosse game, held on the USJ Lacrosse Field Saturday morning.

Four Mariners scored two goals apiece to lead the way for MMA, including junior attack Sawyer Watson (Topsham, Maine) who scored the first and last goal of the contest, and assisted on another. A flock of four Blue Jays scored a goal each in the loss, including Duquene's first goal in team history, freshman midfielder Noah Mocksfield (Colchester, Conn.), freshman attack Evan Baden (Burlington, Conn.), and freshman attack Anthony Lupo (Wallingford, Conn.). Saint Joseph struggled early, trailing 3-0 after the first period. They did get the lead down to two goals early in the second, but could not keep it close enough while playing catchup the whole way.

GAME INFORMATION
Score: Saint Joseph 4, Maine Maritime 9
Records: USJ (0-1) MMA (1-0)
Location: USJ Lacrosse Field | West Hartford, Conn.

COACH QUOTE [Andrew Fink]
"I am extremely proud of the team. I really felt like they gave 110% from start to finish, and that is all you can ask for. Overall the team learned a lot about the college game, and how fast the game is played. Time to get back to work for game two on [Saturday]."

KEY MOMENTS

  • The Mariners set the tone early, scoring two goals in the first seven minutes, and three in the first period. The momentum was all on their side as the Blue Jays faced their first hole as a team.
  • First-year head coach Andrew Fink and his staff kept the home team encouraged, as Duquene finally found the net for USJ with 11:01 left in the second period, on a great find from freshman midfielder Nick Grant (Berlin, Conn.). The two-goal gap was the closest USJ would be the rest of the way, as MMA put up three straight goals before the end of the half, the Blue Jays down, 6-2.
  • Dozens of fans packed the bleachers Saturday to cheer on the Blue Jays. That encouragement could be felt as Saint Joseph continued to improve as the game went on. They scored the last two goals of the game, the final coming from Lupo on a great look from freshman attack Benjamin Green (Chelmsford, Mass.). Even in a losing effort, one could sense improvement from the start to the end of game one, the first of many games to come on the USJ Lacrosse Field.

NUMBER TO KNOW

20 – Both teams recorded 20 shots on goal, many of which were online and looked destined for the back of the net. The Mariners simply saved more as the game went on.

GOALIE BREAKDOWN
Saint Joseph – Freshman Trey McCann (Simsbury, Conn.) went the distance, allowing nine goals but making 11 saves on 20 shots (0-1) in his first collegiate contest.

Maine Maritime – Freshman Garrett Ruszkowski (Saugus, Mass.) was solid in net from the start, allowing two goals in just over 51 minutes of action. He also had 11 saves to secure the win (1-0).

UP NEXT
The USJ men's lacrosse team is headed right back to the USJ Lacrosse Field on Saturday, February 29, for the second game in program history, hosting the Hawks of Becker College at 12:00 p.m.

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