NASHUA, N.H. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's lacrosse team got off to a slow start, and was unable to recover, falling to the Rivier University (RIV) Raiders, 18-7, in its second Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) contest of 2021 Saturday at Joanne Merrill Field.
The Raiders, riding the intensity of playing in their first game in a year, got out of the gates quickly, scoring six goals in a seven-minute span to start the game. The Blue Jays closed the first quarter with two goals of their own, but were never able to get any closer than down four, as Rivier scored seven more in the second period and led 13-3 at halftime.
A trio of Blue Jays scored two goals each on the game, including freshman attackman Ryan Paltauf (Southbury, Conn.) and junior attackman Matt Guerin (East Longmeadow, Mass.), who both also added an assist each to their totals. Sophomore attackman Noah Mocksfield (Colchester, Conn.) also found the back of the cage twice for USJ. Freshman attackman Connor Eck (Franklin, Mass.) was the high-scorer on the day, scoring an astounding eight goals to lead the way for the Raiders.
Score: Saint Joseph 7, Rivier 18
Records: USJ 2-2 (1-1 GNAC), RIV 1-0 (1-0 GNAC)
Location: Joanne Merrill Field | Nashua, N.H.
COACH QUOTE [Andrew Fink]
"It's still great to just be out there competing in GNAC play, but unfortunately this is not the result that we wanted. I am very proud though of the effort from Samuel Barbetti on our faceoffs today. We will continue to develop and get better."
- The Blue Jays were just 1-of-6 in man-up situations.
- Six different players found the back of the cage for Rivier.
- Saint Joseph actually outshot Rivier, 55-40, but the Raiders converted ground balls (+17) into efficient scoring opportunities.
- Rivier scored six straight goals on two different occasions.
NUMBER TO KNOW
10 – The Blue Jays were -10 in goal differential (13-3) in the first half, to just -1 in the second half (5-4).
USJ – Sophomore Trey McCann (Simsbury, Conn.) was dealt the loss (2-2), allowing 10 goals on 19 shots faced on net in 30 minutes of action. Sophomore Sebastian Fusco (Berlin, Conn.) and senior captain Joseph Varagnolo (Centereach, N.Y.) also saw time between the pipes for the Blue Jays.
RIV – Senior Ben Fitzpatrick (Stoneham, Mass.) picked up the win (1-0) with a solid 14 saves on 20 shots faced on goal in 45 minutes of action. Freshman Sawyer Gagnon (Gorham, Maine) played the final 15.
BATTLE AT THE 'X'
Freshman midfielder Samuel Barbetti (Guilford, Conn.) gave the Blue Jays a fighting chance, winning 19 of 29 faceoffs (66%).
The USJ men's lacrosse team is headed home for a matchup with fellow GNAC and intrastate foe, Albertus Magnus College. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30, on the USJ Lacrosse Field. Fans can tune in live at www.usjbluejays.com
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