The St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team took an 8-1 lead into intermission on Wednesday afternoon against North Country rival Clarkson University, coasting to a 13-7 Liberty League win in Potsdam, NY. The Saints were led by Conor Healey's five goals, while Tommy Hovey added a hat trick and an assist.
The Saints improve to 7-3 on the season, but more importantly to 3-1 in conference play and all but assure themselves of a spot in the league tournament. Clarkson falls to 5-5 (0-4) despite a four-goal outing from Ryan St. Croix.
"I thought it was important that we come out and set the tone early," said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Mahoney. "To grab the momentum on the road against a talented team like Clarkson is crucial. Our man down unit did a terrific job and helped us keep separation throughout the game."
St. Lawrence held the Golden Knights to a 1-for-5 mark on man-up tries, while the visitors also held advantages in both shots (33-26) and ground balls (31-22). The Saints also held a narrow 13-11 edge in face-offs won.
The Saints opened up a 3-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes of the game on goals by Charlie Jennings, Healey and Hovey. Though St. Croix got one back for the Knights, goals by Pierson Fowler and Healey in the closing minutes of the quarter pushed the lead to 5-1 after the first.
St. Lawrence continued to pile it on in the second quarter, including back-to-back goals only 39 seconds apart from Fowler and Hovey for a 7-1 lead. Hovey's goal chased Clarkson goalie Harrison Washuta, as he was replaced by Nick Strandholm after making four saves on 11 shots on net. Jennings would cap the first half scoring with 5:33 remaining, tallying an unassisted goal on Strandholm for the 8-1 halftime cushion.
Healey opened the second half scoring at the 3:49 mark, giving St. Lawrence its largest lead at 9-1. Though Clarkson answered with three straight goals to cut the lead to 9-4 with 4:31 left in the third, Healey stopped the momentum with his fourth of the game at 13:35 for a 10-4 lead after three.
Though Clarkson would strike three times in the fourth, it wasn't enough to threaten the Saints' comfortable lead. St. Croix, Robert Linder and Ryan DaRin all scored for the home team, but saw their fourth quarter goals negated by tallies from Garrett Gagne, Healey and Hovey to cap the game scoring at 13-7.
Goalie Nick Ford made six saves to earn the win for St. Lawrence, while Strandholm closed with a game-high eight saves in the loss for Clarkson. Hovey, Healey, Jennings and Jonathan Fairbanks each had one assist in the win for St. Lawrence.
St. Lawrence will have the weekend off before returning to action next Tuesday, April 15 at SUNY Potsdam for the final non-conference game of the season. Game time is scheduled for 7:00pm.