St. Lawrence University junior attackman Tommy Hovey scored a career-high seven goals including the game-winner on Saturday, pacing the nationally-ranked No. 17 men's lacrosse team past Vassar by the score of 13-8 at Hall-Leet Stadium.
The Saints improve to 6-3 (2-1) after outshooting the Brewers (5-5, 1-2) by a wide 46-30 margin. The home team also finished with advantages in both face-offs and ground balls thanks to Ryan Brigham, who won 12-of-16 draws and scooped up a game-high eight ground balls. Vassar was led by Sean Brazier's four points (2g,2a), while goalie Andrew Nicol helped the visitors linger in the game thanks to a season-high 18 saves.
"It was great to get off to a fast start and I thought our ball movement was excellent," said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Mahoney. "Tommy (Hovey) delivered a big performance offensively and it was certainly nice to get back on track in the league with some key games on the horizon."
St. Lawrence was able to control the tempo and possession time thanks to dominant play in the transition game. The Saints were 14-of-16 on clear tries while holding the Brewers to a 12-of-24 mark. Caleb Kane had a game-high five caused turnovers, while Pierson Fowler (1g,3a), Conor Healey (3a), Marc Perroni (2g) and Alden Frelinghuysen (2g) all had multi-point efforts.
Hovey scored a hat trick in the first quarter to help the home team to a 5-2 lead after one. He opened the scoring only 1:49 in and would later make it 4-1 off a perfect feed from Fowler with 5:09 left in the period. He would then cap the quarter's scoring with 1:14 left for the 5-2 lead with an assist going to Healey.
St. Lawrence would seize firm control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Brewers 3-0 for an 8-2 halftime cushion. Perroni's second goal of the game came 1:19 in on a man-up try off a great feed from Jeremy Vautour to the top of the crease, while Hovey scored back-to-back goals to cap the first half scoring at 8-2.
Hovey's sixth goal of the game opened the second half scoring, while Vassar's Liam Moriarty and Frelinghuysen exchanged goals to bring the score to 10-3. Though St. Lawrence appeared to be cruising, Vassar would make a push to close the third quarter, as the visitors recorded three goals in a span of only 42 seconds to seize momentum and keep hope alive. Sam Houston-Read's man-up goal made it 10-4, while Brazier and Colin Cederna followed only 10 seconds apart to make it 10-6 heading to the fourth quarter.
Vassar simply couldn't maintain the momentum they had at the tail end of the third quarter, as Chris Anklin's rip in front of Nicol put the Saints ahead by five again at 11-6 at the 3:37 mark of the fourth quarter. The Brewers would get no closer than four goals the rest of the way, as Hovey and Fowler exchanged goals with Brandon DeStasio and Max Hermon to bring the game to its final of 13-8.
St. Lawrence goalie Nick Ford recorded eight saves to get the win, while Sam Marvin added three caused turnovers for the Saints, who will be in action again on Wednesday, April 9 in a huge conference game with North Country rival Clarkson University. The game, which will be in Potsdam, NY, is slated to begin at 4:00pm.