PORTLAND, ME – Becker College (8-2, 4-1 GNAC) erased a 2-1 deficit in the first quarter with three unanswered goals over the final three periods to clinch a 4-2 victory over Saint Joseph's College (4-4, 3-2 GNAC) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's lacrosse contest at Deering Memorial Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Hawks struck first when freshman Myles White (Norwalk, Conn.) scored his first of two goals 4:53 after the opening whistle, but the Monks answered with a pair of Jake Ricciardi (Sharon, Mass.) markers, the first with 4:46 left in the first quarter and the second coming 2:41 later to lift the hosts to a 2-1 lead.
The slim margin held true until senior Matt Matson (Worcester, Mass.) potted the game-tying goal with one minute left in the second quarter. The stalemate was broken when White scored the eventual winner with 5:44 remaining in the third and Senior Shane Balestracci (Pawcatuck, Conn.) netted an insurance goal with 5:43 left in the fourth.
The Monks called a pair of timeouts in the closing two minutes in an attempt to regain momentum, but the effort yielded only one shot – an Andrew Hamill (Wolfeboro, N.H.) bid – which was denied by Becker freshman goalie Jeffrey Candee (Madison, Conn.) with 14 second left.
Junior Colby Main (Jericho, Vt.) led the Monks with four ground balls while junior Tom Crawford (Westbrook, Maine) added three ground balls and three caused turnovers in the losing effort. Junior keeper Ethan Rettew (Ephrata, Pa.) made eight saves in goal.
Sophomore Ryan Kearney (Katonah, N.Y.) picked up a game-high nine ground balls for the Hawks while junior Jonathan Ferreira (Warwick, R.I.) added seven ground balls and three caused turnovers in the conference win. Candee posted 12 stops in net for the visitors.
In a closely contested game, the Hawks held slight advantages in shots (34-33) and ground balls (39-30) while both teams committed 25 turnovers with four face-off wins apiece on the evening.
With the loss, Saint Joseph's falls to 4-2 in the history of the series with Becker College. Prior to tonight, the Monks had defeated the Hawks in four-consecutive meetings dating back to the 2011 campaign.
Tonight's combined goals total is the lowest in the seven-year history of the SJC men's lacrosse program and the Monks have never before allowed as few as four goals in a losing decision. Prior to tonight, St. Joe's was undefeated in 36 games when yielding seven goals or fewer.
Both teams return to action facing conference opponents on Saturday, when Saint Joseph's plays at Norwich University at 4:00 PM and Becker hosts Anna Maria College in a 1:00 PM start.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.