Annandale-on-Hudson, NY – Freshman Conor Bartlett was busy finding his teammates in front of the goal on Saturday as the Clarkson University Men's Lacrosse team broke out of a three-game losing streak with a 13-3 win over Bard College.
The Golden Knights improved to 7-4 overall and 2-3 in the Liberty League, while Bard dropped to 4-6 and 0-4. Clarkson will return home this coming week for its final two regular-season home games, as the Knights will face Cortland State on Wednesday and Skidmore on Saturday at Hantz Turf Field.
Clarkson was averaging fewer than seven goals per league game entering Saturday's game, and though the Knights jumped out to a 5-1 lead at the half, it wasn't until the third quarter that they truly found their offensive groove. Bartlett scored the final goal of the second quarter (1:07 left), but his main contribution was locating his teammates for goals. In the third quarter alone, Bartlett assisted on three goals in a stretch of 6:24, passing to sophomore Shane Kilday on two occasions and also finding sophomore Brendan Brady. After Kilday's second goal, Kyle Brown tallied his second of the contest to put Clarkson up 10-2 with five minutes remaining in the quarter. From that point, the Knights were able to cruise, essentially calling off the offense midway through the fourth period and settling for a 13-3 victory.
Clarkson held significant advantages in most categories, including shots (45-19) and groundballs (43-24), but the key to the game was freshman Ryan Gabriel's ability to gain possession on the faceoffs. The first-year collegian won 16 of his 17 tries at the 'x' and tied for the team-lead with seven groundballs. Mark Uhlig (seven groundballs) and Ryan DaRin (six groundballs) also kept the Knights in possession of the ball for a good portion of the game.
Bartlett finished with a goal and five assists for six points, while Brown added three goals and Kilday contributed two scores. DaRin had a goal and an assist and Anthony DiGiovanni had three points, including a goal and an assist in the fourth quarter on Clarkson's final two goals. Nick Strandholm, Tim St. Croix and Colin Holt combined for seven saves for the Knights. For Bard, Lyle Healey was busy with 16 saves and Blake Burnley did his best to get the Raptors possession with eight groundballs and two caused turnovers.