St. Lawrence University senior Matt Pope scored four goals including the eventual game-winner with 1:52 remaining in the fourth quarter to pace the men's lacrosse team past Clarkson University, 8-7, on Wednesday afternoon in Potsdam, NY.
St. Lawrence improves to 9-1 (3-1) after owning a 32-26 advantage in shots and a 21-18 edge in ground balls. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights fall to 7-4 (1-3) despite winning 12-of-20 face-offs including all seven in the fourth quarter.
"What a hard-fought league victory on the road," said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Mahoney. "We were fortunate to get off to a great start, but knew Clarkson had the capability of battling back and they did just that. I'm so happy that the guys were able to come away with this crucial victory."
With the two teams tied at 1-1 after one period of play, the Scarlet and Brown owned the second quarter and took control of the game. The visitors outshot Clarkson 15-2 in the frame and were aided by four Golden Knight turnovers, as St. Lawrence took a 6-2 lead into halftime.
Pope scored to open the second stanza only :25 seconds in which started a five-goal run to build a 6-1 advantage. Junior Dave Hovey, senior co-captain Kyle Jacobson and sophomore Pierson Fowler each scored before Pope capped the run with his team on top by five with 6:37 left in the first half. Though Bryan Huff would get one back for Clarkson, the home team still faced a four-goal deficit, down 6-2 at the break.
Clarkson would settle into its game in the second half, but managed only one goal on seven shots in the third quarter to pull within three at 6-3.
Matt McCabe opened the fourth quarter scoring for the Knights to get within two, but Hovey answered with 7:52 left to extend the cushion back to three at 7-4. After Matt Cyr made it 7-5 for the home team, Pope's man-up goal with 1:52 remaining in regulation seemed to seal it for St. Lawrence up 8-5.
Clarkson refused to go quietly, however, as Eric Gollands and Brendon Shearin scored goals in a 30-second span to bring the home team within a goal at 8-7 with :37 seconds remaining. Though the Knights did win the ensuing face-off, a turnover in the final seconds would allow St. Lawrence to escape with the one-goal victory.
Hovey closed with two goals and an assist, while Pope added a pair of helpers for a game-high six points. Senior co-captain Pete Carpenter also had an assist. Junior Cam Scullen had a game-high six ground balls for St. Lawrence as well.
Junior goalie Jack Nuland was credited with the win after making four second-half saves including three in the fourth quarter, while classmate Jeff Goeke made two stops during the first half. Clarkson's Ryan Cole closed with nine saves for the Knights.
St. Lawrence will be in action again on Saturday, April 14 when they head to Cortland, NY to take on Messiah at 5:00pm.