STANDISH, Maine – The 2018 reigning Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Champions ranked #6 Johnson and Wales (5-13) soared past #3 Saint Joseph's College (12-5), in the GNAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament Quarterfinal at the SJC Athletics Complex on Saturday afternoon.
The loss brings a close to the Monks' record-breaking season, the #6 seed Johnson and Wales University will advance to the GNAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament Semifinal game against the winner of the #2 Norwich vs. #7 Emmanuel Quarterfinal game that takes place today at 4:00 pm at Norwich University.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Monks started off the game scoring first with a goal from senior Michael Finn (Quincy, Mass.), but the Wildcats responded three minutes later with two goals from Tyler Drago (Wakefield, Mass.) and Brad Kretz (Sandy Hook, Conn.). Senior Tyler Retalic (Framingham, Mass.) tied the score with three minutes left in the first quarter, giving a great reflection on how the rest of the first half went back and forth with possession between both teams as they remained tied 5-5 going into halftime.
The third quarter proved to be the decisive frame in today's conference clash, as only the Wildcats scored four times in those 15 minutes, putting the team up 9-5 entering the fourth quarter. Trailing at the start of the fourth quarter, the Monks attempted to come back with two back-to-back goals from sophomore Zack Hamilton (Pepperell, Mass.) as he attempted to take advantage of the remaining time, but the Wildcats were able to maintain possession, keeping the Monks down 11-8 to end the game, allowing Johnson and Wales to advance to the GNAC Semifinals.
SJC sophomore Logan Skinner (Irving, Texas) made nine saves in the losing effort while Wildcats junior Bradley Morris (Bayport, N.Y.) posted eight stops.
Wildcats held the advantage in shots on goal (36-30) as well as ground balls (33-27), but the Monks led face-off wins (23-14) while JWU committed 25 turnovers and Monks with 28 on the afternoon. The Wildcats were 15-for-18 on clear attempts while the Monks went 10-for-15 on clearing bids.
Finn, who tallied a goal and two assists this afternoon, entered the contest with 168 goals and 39 assists for 210 points in 67 career games being the Monks all-time scoring leader in program history.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Retalic netted two goals on three shots and one assist
- Sophomore Zack Hamilton (Pepperell, Mass.) captured two goals on eight shots
- Freshmen Troy Bottari (Nashua, N.H.) tacked on a goal and an assist
- Sophomore Alex Osmanski (Abington, Mass.) picked up a team-high nine ground balls
LEADERS – Johnson and Wales:
- Senior Erik Lindaas (Milford, P.A.) scored three goals on five shots with one assist and four ground balls
- Kretz tallied three goals on six shots.
- Senior Thomas Lyons (Burlington, Mass) notched two goals and an assist with two ground balls
- Drago scored two goals on three shots an picked up two ground balls
Saint Joseph's is now 4-3 all-time versus Johnson and Wales University. In the last meeting between the conference counterparts, the Monks topped the Wildcats, 17-9, in a GNAC regular season game in Standish, Maine on March 23rd, 2019.
Today's setback signals the end of collegiate lacrosse for the Monks' nine seniors: Finn, Ian Forbes (Dover, N.H.), Cornelius Koch (Quincy, Mass.), Peter Wood (Gloucester, Mass.), Raymond Emery (Abington, Mass.), Steve Reyes-Pindea (Revere, Mass.), Retalic, Daniel Cunningham (West Islip, N.Y.), and Tyler Torrey (Gray, Maine). This senior class for Head Coach Bill Cosentino has helped the Monks make incredible strides in their program throughout their four years as Monks.