Manhattan Downs Wagner, Bolsters MAAC Standing
from press release
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan College men's
lacrosse team entered Wednesday's game looking to snap a three-game
losing streak and, more importantly, improve its standing in the
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). And the Jaspers
got exactly what they needed. Behind three goals from Justin
Jensen (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and four points from Joe Variano
(Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), Manhattan (5-7, 3-2 MAAC) notched an 8-7
victory over Wagner (0-11, 0-5 MAAC) at Gaelic Park. With the
win, the Jaspers improved to 11-0 all-time against the
In a tight, defensive first quarter, Wagner broke through first when Colin O'Rourke found the back of the net at the 3:01 mark. The Seahawks increased their lead to 2-0 on a goal by Cory Perkins with 22 seconds left in the quarter. Manhattan finally broke through for its first goal of the game when Salvatore Spatarella (Rocky Point, N.Y.) connected with Kelly Mahon (Spring Lake, N.J.) just 1:26 into the second quarter. Variano's man-up goal 2:12 later knotted the score at 2-2, and the sides went into halftime deadlocked.
Manhattan took advantage of a Wagner penalty early in the third quarter to gain its first lead of the game. Just 15 seconds after Dustin Doty was sent off for slashing, Mahon took a feed from Variano and notched his second goal of the contest with 12:32 left in the quarter. Jensen scored twice in a 30-second span midway through the quarter to give the Jaspers a 5-2 lead. However, Wagner won the faceoff following Jensen's second goal, and Tim Schweitzer raced down and scored. That tally snapped Manhattan's streak of five straight goals and ignited a Wagner comeback. O'Rourke notched his second goal of the game with 3:52 remaining in the quarter to again make it a one-goal game.
The Jaspers went into the fourth quarter leading 5-4, but increased their lead to 6-4 on a beautiful goal by Variano with 10:52 to play. However, Wagner again responded by winning the faceoff and immediately scoring, as Cody Isdaner's tally 11 seconds later again pulled the Seahawks within one, 6-5. It remained 6-5 until the 5:02 mark, when a loose ball came in front of the Wagner net, and Jensen was able to corral it and put it home. That goal proved big, as O'Rourke scored again with 3:43 left to once again trim the Jaspers' lead to one, 7-6.
Wagner won the faceoff after O'Rourke's third goal, but both of the Seahawks' attempts at an equalizer went wide. Manhattan got the ball back with 2:34 time, and the Jaspers were able to maintain possession and nurse their lead for most of the remaining time. A Jensen turnover gave possession back to the Seahawks with seven seconds remaining, but Wagner was unable to get a shot off and the Jaspers held on for the victory.
Jensen collected a game-high six ground balls to go along with his hat trick. Variano registered two goals and two assists, while Mahon tallied Manhattan's other two goals. Chace Calkin (Englewood, Colo.) gathered five ground balls, as the Jaspers held a 35-33 advantage on the ground. Jon Fiorillo (Painted Post, N.Y.) (5-4) gave up six goals and recorded 10 saves, while also corralling four ground balls and causing two turnovers.
O'Rourke notched a hat trick and tallied five ground balls for the Seahawks. Schweitzer finished with two points (one goal, one assist) and four ground balls, while Colin Shaw tied for the team lead with five ground balls. Goalkeeper Michael Gutkin (0-9) made eight saves and allowed seven goals.
The Jaspers conclude their home schedule on Saturday afternoon, when Saint Joseph's (2-10, 2-3 MAAC) visits Gaelic Park for a 1 p.m. showdown. The program's 11 seniors will be honored before the game, which will be their final home contest in a Manhattan uniform.
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