STANDISH, Maine – Norwich University (10-4, 7-1 GNAC) defeated Saint Joseph's College (12-4, 6-2 GNAC), 12-8, in what was the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) season finale for both teams in men's lacrosse action at the SJC Athletics Complex on Tuesday evening.
With the result, Norwich has clinched the #2 seed in the upcoming conference tournament while Saint Joseph's is seeded third in the tourney, which begins with a quarterfinal round on Saturday. Both teams will host first round contests with opponents to be determined when all conference results are complete later tonight.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The third quarter proved to be the decisive frame in tonight's conference clash, as the Cadets broke free of a 4-4 stalemate at the half by outscoring the hosts, 4-1, in the penultimate period.
Trailing 8-5 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Monks took advantage of a man-up scenario with senior Michael Finn (Quincy, Mass.) hitting pay dirt to make it a two-goal game with 14:43 remaining.
Back at full strength, the Cadets responded with goals from Jack Anzalone (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Cody Moore (Canton, N.Y.) in a matter of two minutes to essentially put the contest out of reach.
Norwich mounted a 2-0 lead in the first eight minutes of play and held a 4-2 cushion heading into the second stanza. Saint Joseph's countered with the only goals scored in the second quarter, as senior Daniel Cunningham (West Islip, N.Y.) potted a man-up strike and freshman Devin Linscott (Nashua, N.H.) added his 16th of the year to knot the contest at 4-4 going into intermission.
SJC sophomore Logan Skinner (Irving, Texas) made 16 saves in the losing effort while Norwich sophomore Nick Kandra (Crofton, Md.) posted eight stops for the Cadets.
Norwich held the advantage in shots (41-33, shots on goal (28-16), ground balls (45-25), and face-off wins (16-7) while both teams committed 18 turnovers on the evening. The Cadets were 11-for-13 on clear attempts while the Monks went 12-for-22 on clearing bids.
With an assist on Finn's man-up marker early in the fourth quarter, sophomore attack Shane Puleo (Nashua, N.H.) became the seventh player in program history to reach the 100-point plateau. Puleo, who tallied a goal and two assists tonight, entered the contest with 34 goals and 63 assists for 97 points in 33 career games.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Finn netted two goals on five shots
- Sophomore Zack Hamilton (Pepperell, Mass.) tallied two goals and three ground balls
- Sophomore Brendan Martin (Nashua, N.H.) tacked on a goal and an assist with two ground balls
- Senior Cornelius Koch (Quincy, Mass.) picked up a team-high four ground balls
- Senior Raymond Emery (Abington, Mass.) added two ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers
LEADERS – NORWICH:
- Freshman Parker Campbell (Rockaway, N.J.) scored two goals on five shots with four assists
- Anzalone tallied three goals, two assists, and five ground balls
- Moore notched three goals and an assist with four ground balls
- Senior Joseph Santangelo (Fallston, Md.) was 16-for-22 on face-off attempts with eight ground balls
Saint Joseph's is now 0-11 all-time versus Norwich University. In the last meeting between the conference counterparts, the Cadets topped the Monks, 17-8, in a GNAC Tournament semifinal in Northfield, Vermont on May 2nd, 2018.