PROVIDENCE, R.I. – For the second straight meeting, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's lacrosse team led early but struggled in the second half, dropping a 13-11 decision Tuesday night against the Wildcats of Johnson & Wales University (JWU), in another Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) matchup at the SMAC Lacrosse Field.
Senior attackman and captain Owen LaPorte (Farmington, Conn.), along with sophomore attackman Noah Mocksfield (Colchester, Conn.) led the way for USJ with three goals each. Junior midfielder Joe McIntyre (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) was the high-scorer on the game with five big goals for JWU.
JWU held a 2-1 lead after a slow first period. USJ was just 2-for-10 on clear attempts in the first, giving the Wildcats some opportunities to control the pace. The Blue Jays held their ground in the second quarter though, outscoring JWU 3-1 to take a 4-3 lead into the halftime break. A critical goal from Mocksfield with just 18 seconds in the half gave some much-needed momentum to the visitors.
The Wildcats came out and again out-executed Saint Joseph in the third, outscoring them 5-0 and took a stranglehold on the contest. The Blue Jays battled back and cut the lead to two goals several times in the final period, but were unable to find the back of the cage enough down the stretch to tie it up, ending their regular season stint with back-to-back setbacks.
Score: Saint Joseph 11, Johnson & Wales 13
Records: USJ (5-6, 4-5 GNAC), JWU (6-2, 5-2 GNAC)
Location: SMAC Lacrosse Field | Providence, R.I.
COACH QUOTE [Andrew Fink]
"It was a great back and forth battle, the guys played very hard. The more we play the better we will get. We are always learning. Very excited to make the playoffs, just need to play hard and fast."
- First loss of the season for USJ when scoring double-digit goals (5-1).
- 12 of the 24 goals were scored in the fourth period.
- Saint Joseph was 3-for-6 in man-up situations.
- Second-ever meeting between the two squads, and the second in three days. JWU leads the series, 2-0.
- USJ is now 0-4 against the top-three teams in the GNAC (JWU 0-2, Norwich 0-2).
NUMBER TO KNOW
4 – The Blue Jays had just four shots in the third period, to 13 for the Wildcats. USJ was outscored in the quarter 5-0.
USJ – Sophomore Trey McCann (Simsbury, Conn.) went the distance in a losing effort Saturday (5-6), allowing 13 goals, but making an impressive 20 saves, a career-high.
JWU – Senior Andrew Costa (North Providence, R.I.) allowed four goals in the first half on 11 shots. Freshman Chris April (Mansfield, Mass.) was credited with the win in the second half (2-2), despite allowing seven goals with seven saves.
BATTLE AT THE 'X'
The Blue Jays showed much improvement at midfield Tuesday night, winning the faceoff battle, 17-10. Freshman faceoff Samuel Barbetti (Guilford, Conn.) of USJ handled the challenge from sophomore defender Mike Catuosco (Commack, N.Y.) and senior midfielder Trent Ceiley (Pascoag, R.I.).
It's playoff time for the first time for USJ men's lacrosse. The second-year squad will be playing in the GNAC Quarterfinals on Saturday, May 1. Their opponent and game time are still TBD.
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