Hawks Remain Unbeaten in NEC Lacrosse
April 24, 2021 –
The game featured the top two teams in the NEC Men’s Lacrosse standings. Saint Joseph’s entered 6 – 0 and LIU at 5 – 1. A battle was expected and lived up to expectations. The Hawks held on for a 14 – 13 win over the Sharks at Sweeney Field.
A final opportunity for LIU ended with 44 seconds to play. Hawks defenseman Tyler Makar forced a turnover by Sharks Jake Gillis. Patrick Clemens got the ground ball and cleared the zone to run out the clock.
Saint Joe’s remains undefeated in the league at 7 – 0 with one game to play. The Hawks win the regular season title and ensure the top-seed in the conference tournament.
At halftime SJU found themselves trailing 7 – 6. To start the second half Shane Fable scored unassisted to tie the game just under two minutes into the third quarter. The goal ignited a a 4-goal run that gave the Hawks enough separation to earn the victory. Attackman Matt Bohmer followed getting the lead goal over a minute later, his second of his team-high three goals for the day. Matt Popeck tallied two goals in 9 seconds to give Saint Joseph’s a 10 – 7 lead with 11:42 to play in the third.
LIU would storm back to get to within one behind back-to-back scores by Gillis. Saint Joe’s responded and kept separation. Bohmer, Matt Tufano and Ryan Doran increased the lead 13 – 9. The Sharks did not go away getting the next three scores on the board from Richie LaCalandra, James Butler, and Marcin Maleski.
Fable turned the game in the Hawks direction to start the second half, then put in the what turned out to be the game-winner with 5:16 to play. The final goal of the game came from Gillis who notched his 6th of the contest from Blake Behlen, who handed out a game-high 4 assists for LIU.
Saint Joseph’s had an advantage in shots 48 – 30 and 33 – 19 on goal. LIU goalie Will Mark kept the Sharks in proximity making 19 saves. Tucker Alamany recorded 6 saves for SJU. Zach Cole won 21 of 29 faceoffs, a key for SJU. Doran had a team-best 3 assists.
Originally, the regular season was to end, but Saint Joe’s will play a makeup game next week at Wagner.
Written By: Glenn Papazian