Clarkson University's Matthew Gold scored four goals including the eventual game-winner, as the Golden Knights upset the nationally-ranked No. 16 St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team 7-5 at Hall-Leet Stadium in Canton, NY on Friday afternoon.
Clarkson improves to 10-5 overall after avenging a 10-3 road loss earlier in the season to St. Lawrence and will take on No. 3 RIT for the conference title on Sunday. The Saints, who struggled throughout the game to win face-offs, seemed to have swung the momentum in their favor by taking the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter, 5-4. However, the Golden Knights scored the final three goals to secure the victory.
St. Lawrence closed with a 31-26 lead in shots and a 21-14 advantage in ground balls. However, Dylan Broomfield won 11-of-16 face-offs for Clarkson, which gave them key possession time throughout the game.
Senior co-captain Davey Hovey led St. Lawrence with two goals and an assist, while rookie Jeremy Vautour scored twice and junior Pierson Fowler added one goal. Peter Goss, Jamie Stuhlinger and Mark Nortz each scored one goal to compliment Gold's four-goal outing.
The Golden Knights set the tone in the first half, as Gold scored the first goal only :43 seconds into the opening quarter. Goss would make it 2-0 in the final minute, as the visitors' defense and goaltender Ryan Cole kept the Saints off the scoreboard until the latter stages of the first half.
St. Lawrence, which struggled to find good bids offensively, finally cracked the scoreboard with 1:38 remaining until halftime. Hovey attacked from behind the net and fired a high shot past Cole to make it 2-1 at intermission. The home team's defense and goalie Jack Nuland kept it a game, as they blanked Clarkson in the second period.
After Gold and Vautour exchanged tallies to open the second half, St. Lawrence finally pulled even at 3-3 on a great goal from Fowler. Hovey set the goal up from Behind the net, and Fowler finished with a strong move in front, sending the game to the fourth quarter deadlocked at 3-3.
Gold gave Clarkson the lead yet again only 1:45 in, but Vautour scored on a rebound chance to tie it only 2:13 later. Hovey would put the Saints on top for the first time with 9:15 remaining, as his centering pass was redirected off of Cole and into the net unexpectedly for a 5-4 lead.
Clarkson showed great composure despite the misfortune and came right back as scored on a low rip from Mark Nortz through traffic only 1:10 later. With Broomfield controlling each of the key face-offs, the Knights continued to attack and regained the lead on Gold's fourth of the game with 2:23 to go. The Pittsford, NY native beat his defender, scored from just outside the crease, and then was awarded a penalty after the play to give Clarkson a man-up for 1:00 minute.
The visitors were able to run off that penalty, and only seconds after St. Lawrence returned to full strength, Stuhlinger caught Nuland out of his net and bounced a shot into the vacated goal to seal Clarkson's upset victory, 7-5, with only 1:06 to go. Broomfield won the ensuing face-off and Clarkson ran out the clock on its semifinal win.
Cole finished with 10 saves including two in the fourth quarter, while Nuland made eight saves, but none in the final stanza. The loss likely eliminates St. Lawrence from an NCAA at-large bid, while the Knights will likely need a win over RIT to qualify for the tournament as well. Clarkson will square-off with the Tigers on Sunday, May 5 at noon in Rochester, NY.