March 15, 2014

Welcome Messenger: Limestone Trips Seton Hill

from press release

Limestone kept the high-powered Seton Hill offense in check, allowing the Saints to pick up the key South region victory. (Brian Kunst/brianleestudios.net)

GREENSBURG, Pa. – Sophomore midfielder Mike Messenger (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) drilled four goals as No. 4 Limestone (7-1, 0-0 CC) earned an impressive 13-7 victory over No. 5 Seton Hill (4-1, 2-0 ECAC) in a key NCAA Division II men's lacrosse game on Saturday, March 15.

Messenger led the way for the Saints with his four goals, along with an assist, while senior attack Todd Nakasuji (Ajax, Ontario, Canada) finished with two goals, a pair of assists and three groundballs. Sophomore attack Vinny Ricci (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) notched the hat trick and senior midfielder Joshua Williams (Davidsonville, Md.) and sophomore attack Kyle Rhatigan (Holbrook, N.Y.) each had a goal and an assist.

Freshman midfielder Kevin Reisman (West Babylon, N.Y.) won a whopping 18-of-22 faceoffs to make sure the Saints offense got the ball and also picked up 12 groundballs while sophomore midfielder PJ White (Huntington, N.Y.) anchored the defense with an incredible five caused turnovers with a pair of groundballs. Sophomore goal keeper Patrick Sheridan (Fairport, N.Y.) went the distance in goal as he allowed just seven goals and made three saves to move to 7-1 on the season.

A rematch of last season's NCAA Division II Quarterfinal at "The Rock", won 16-13 by the Saints, the teams would trade opening blows as Messenger took it himself just 49 seconds in before Matt Delmonico, a major player in last year's game, delivered the equalizer at 10:54. Sophomore attack Kyle Rhatigan (Holbrook, N.Y.) converted off a pass from freshman midfielder Colton Watkinson (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) to give them a 2-1 advantage at the 8:17 mark.

At that point SHU's Marc Piche factored into back-to-back goals, scoring the first off a pass from Delmonico, and assisting on a Jimmy Cogley goal in less than a three-minute span. That burst gave them a 3-2 margin but it wouldn't last long. Over slightly less than a quarter's worth of time, Limestone would then score four straight to flip the script and take a 6-3 lead with 6:26 to play.

Delmonico would connect at 5:34 of the second quarter to cut it to 6-4 before senior midfielder Joshua Williams (Davidsonville, Md.) drove home his first score of the day with 17 seconds left in the half, giving the Saints a 7-4 lead at the break.

The Griffons would get a quick goal to start the second half, cutting the deficit to just two, but that would be the closest they would get. Ricci scored at the 12:00 minute mark of a pass from Nakasuji, who then promptly scored five minutes later to stretch to a 9-5 advantage. Another SHU goal, this one with a minute left in the third quarter, made it a three goal game.

The Ricci/Nakasuji combination kicked in again to start the fourth quarter as they made it 10-6 just two minutes into the quarter but once again Seton Hill cut it to three at 10-7. That would be their best margin the rest of the way as Messenger drilled two of the Saints next three goals to push the lead to a daunting 13-7 with seven minutes to play.

Piche finished with a pair of goals and three assists while Delmonico had two scores, an assist and three groundballs to pace the Griffins. Cogley chipped in with two goals and Brady Lawrence played 56:41 in net, allowing 13 goals and making nine saves to fall to 4-1 on the year.

Limestone returns to Gaffney, S.C. for their longest home stand of the season. That three game stretch will kick off with Wingate on Wednesday, March 19 at 4 p.m. and be followed by a huge matchup with No. 6 Tampa at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 22. The Saints will wrap up the run with their Conference Carolinas opener on Saturday, March 29. That will come against a challenging Mount Olive team with face off set for 3 p.m. at the Upper Practice Field.


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