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Men's Lacrosse Ends Season In GNAC Quarterfinals At JWU, 18-9

Photo taken by Steve McLaughlin - March 5, 2021
Photo taken by Steve McLaughlin - March 5, 2021

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  The fifth-seeded University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's lacrosse team dropped its first-ever playoff game, 18-9, to the fourth-seeded Wildcats of Johnson & Wales University (JWU), in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Quarterfinal matchup at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletic Complex (SMAC) Lacrosse Field Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore attackman Anthony Lupo (Wallingford, Conn.), who had just three goals all year coming into Saturday, scored a career-high four to lead the way for the Blue Jays. Senior attackman and captain Owen LaPorte (Farmington, Conn.), the conference's leading scorer, was held to just one goal on three shots. Junior attackman Chris Calisto (Jericho, N.Y.), was the high-scorer for JWU as he has been all season, scoring a game-high seven goals. Junior attackman Tyler Drago (Wakefield, Mass.) added three goals and a game-high four assists.

The Wildcats wasted little time in this one, firing at will and taking a 5-1 first-period lead, and later a 10-3 halftime lead. The Blue Jays scored a game-best five fourth-period goals, but it was too little too late, as the home team maintained their well-built lead, never trailing from start to finish.

GAME INFORMATION
Score: #5 Saint Joseph 9, #4 Johnson & Wales 18
Location: SMAC Lacrosse Field | Providence, R.I.
Notes: GNAC Quarterfinal

COACH QUOTE [Andrew Fink]
"I am still super happy, as we achieved our goal for this year as soon as we got here. This one was just super hard. There is a very good team here in Johnson & Wales, they did everything right. There was no quit though, we kept fighting back in the fourth quarter, and as a coach, you can't ask for much more than that. This was an unbelievable experience for us, and we can only go up from here."

GAME NOTES

  • JWU now leads the all-time series, 3-0.
  • JWU is 62-for-76 on clear attempts vs. Saint Joseph this season.
  • The Blue Jays were -19 on ground balls (58-39).
  • This marked the third straight matchup between these squads (third in one week), with JWU defeating USJ 14-9 on April 24, and 13-11 on April 27. USJ led early in both regular season games.
  • The Blue Jays were outscored 13-2 against Johnson & Wales in the third period this season.

NUMBER TO KNOW

1 – Laporte, the GNAC's leading scorer (37 goals), was held to just one goal on the game, the fewest goals he's scored since April 17 at Norwich.

GOALIE BREAKDOWN

USJ
 – Sophomore Trey McCann (Simsbury, Conn.) was dealt the loss in his playoff debut, allowing 17 goals on 31 shots faced in 53-plus minutes of action (5-7). Senior Joseph Varagnolo (Centereach, N.Y.) also saw a few minutes of game time in his final career contest.

JWU – Freshman Chris April (Mansfield, Mass.) picked up the win (3-2) in a full 60 minutes of work between the pipes. He made 11 saves and allowed nine goals in his first playoff game.

BATTLE AT THE 'X'

Senior midfielder Trent Ceiley (Pascoag, R.I.) outlasted the Blue Jays in the faceoff battle, as the Wildcats took 16 of 30 at the X. Freshman midfielder Raymond Heim (Harwinton, Conn.) was the primary man on faceoffs for Saint Joseph.

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