The St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team suffered a stinging 11-10 loss to Rensselaer on Saturday afternoon in Troy, NY. The Engineers, backstopped by a 20-save performance by Alex Castronovo, rallied from a 5-0 first quarter deficit to earn the win and bump the Saints into the No. 4 seed for the 2014 Liberty League Tournament.
Conor Healey scored a hat trick and added an assist for the Saints (8-4, 3-2), who will now see nationally-ranked No. 1 RIT in back-to-back weekends. Rensselaer (9-4, 4-2), which had eight different players score, was led offensively by Breanainn McNeally's three point outing (2g,1a).
Nick Ford finished with 11 saves in goal for St. Lawrence, while Jake Davis won 8-of-11 face-offs. Tommy Hovey, Marc Perroni and Charlie Duprey each scored twice for the visitors while Alden Frelinghuysen added a goal and an assist. St. Lawrence closed with solid leads in shots (45-34), ground balls (32-24) and face-offs (14-10), but were done in by six penalties and the outstanding goaltending from Castronovo.
The game couldn't have started much better for the Scarlet and Brown, as they rattled off the opening five goals for a solid lead. Healey opening the scoring at 2:36, while Perroni followed at 7:11 for a 2-0 lead. Healey, Duprey and Hovey then scored goals in a span of 3:04 to take the wide five-goal advantage.
Rensselaer would get one back in the final seconds of the first quarter on a goal by Casey Colligan, then rallied with four goals in the second quarter to pull within two at halftime. A goal by McNeally with 5:09 left in the period pulled the Engineers within one at 6-5, but Frelinghuysen's unassisted tally with 2:12 left capped the first half scoring for a 7-5 St. Lawrence advantage.
The two teams exchanged a goal each in the third quarter as the Saints kept their two goal lead intact, 8-6, going to the fourth. However, RPI came out soaring in the final period, netting five goals including four in 4:45 to vault into the lead, 11-8. Billy Gibbs opening the fourth quarter scoring for the home team and was followed by Aaron Shavel's man-up tally to tie it at 8-8 with 9:51 to play. Pat Hogan, John Phillips and McNeally then struck for the 11-8 lead with 5:06 to play.
Needing a rally of its own, St. Lawrence dug in and scored two goals only 2:04 apart to give itself a chance. Perroni took a pass from Frelinghuysen and beat Castronovo with 3:30 left before Duprey's unassisted goal made it 11-10 with 1:26 left.
St. Lawrence would have a chance to tie, as Davis won the face-off setting up a shot for Luke DiLisio in the final seconds. However, Castronovo made another huge stop, and John Phillips' ground ball allowed RPI to run down the time and seal the dramatic victory.
The Saints will wrap up the regular season next Saturday, April 26 when they welcome the nation's top team, RIT, to Hall-Leet Stadium for "Senior Day." Game time is set for 12:00pm.