Hartford Win Secures Best Start Since 2000
from press release
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Hartford men's lacrosse team scored its second-straight win on Wednesday afternoon as it toppled in-state rival Sacred Heart, 14-8, on a snowy Al-Marzook Field. The Hawks improve to 5-3 on the season with the win, marking the program's best start since the 2000 season, while the Pioneers fall to 4-3.
Junior Carter Bender finished with a game-best five points on four goals and an assist to lead the Hawks who snapped a four-game losing skid to the Pioneers with the victory. Five other players reached the back of the net, four of which recorded multi-goal games. Rory Nunamacher, a sophomore, netted a hat trick and compiled four points while Jared Franze, Ryan Compitello and Bowes each scored twice.
The Hawks, who snapped a four-game skid to the Pioneers, raced out to a 4-0 lead before allowing Sacred Heart reach the scoreboard. Freshman Tate Klidonas scored the first goal of the game just two minutes after opening face-off and Franze added another score for the home team at the 11:07 mark. Bowes doubled Hartford's lead, netting back-to-back goals at 4:27 and 2:52, before Pioneers' Bailey Dodds delivered the visitors' lone score of the period.
The two teams played an even second quarter, exchanging two goals each to put Hartford up 6-3 at the half. Nunamacher netted the Hawks' first goal in the frame and Bender delivered his first of four with just five seconds remaining in the half.
In the third, Dodds struck again 2:08 into the period to bring the Pioneers within two before Hartford answered with three straight of its own sparked by Compitello tally less than two minutes later. Bender scored his second of the contest and Nunamacher pushed Hartford's lead to five goals at 9-4 with 2:28 to play in the period.
Following a score by Sacred Heart's Mike Mawdsley to close out the third, Hartford regained its five goal edge when Bender found the back of the net with 13:27 left to play in regulation. Matt King got the score back for the visitors at the 9:44 mark however Franze and Bender rallied to lift the Hawks' lead to 12-6. Sacred Heart managed to string together a late two-goal run behind tallies from Mawdsley and Matt Ferrino however Nunamacher and Compitello put the game out of reach scoring the Hawks' 13th and 14th goals of the afternoon.
The Hawks dominated in nearly all facets of the game, outshooting the Pioneers 44-29 while holding a 37-26 edge in ground balls. The Hawks finished 19-of-24 at the face-off X behind senior Tim Fallon's 17-of-22 performance. Mike Brown, a sophomore, won both of his duels inside the circle.
Between the pipes, sophomore Frank Piechota earned the start for the Hawks, making two saves while allowing three goals to improve to 5-3 on the season. Bouncing back from an injury and making his season debut in net for the second half was junior Scott Bement who stopped five and allowed five in. Senior goalie Zach Frank made 14 saves in the loss for Sacred Heart.
Bailey Dodds, Mike Mawdsley and Matt Ferrino each netted two goals for Sacred Heart.
Hartford hits the road again on Saturday, March 26 for its final tune-up before conference play when it travels to Staten Island to face Wagner. Game time is slated for 2:00 p.m.