Vautour scores four as Saints men's lax upset #16 Plattsburgh State
St. Lawrence University first-year student Jeremy Vautour continued to impress on Wednesday, as he added four goals and an assist, leading the Saints to a thorough 11-8 victory over nationally-ranked No. 16 Plattsburgh State on Wednesday in Canton, NY. St. Lawrence wore special green and white uniforms in support of the fight against Lymphoma, and raised money which will be donated to the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
The Saints improved to 6-3 on the season after outshooting their opponents 37-29 and holding an impressive 37-17 lead in ground balls. The Cardinals (8-3) committed too many turnovers (20) and penalties (9) and completed only 10-of-17 clears in the loss. St. Lawrence also won the special teams battle, scoring two man-up goals (2-for-9) and holding Plattsburgh scoreless on five tries."I'm very pleased overall, as I thought this was a great team win," said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Mahoney. "I thought we did a great job of battling for face-offs and ground balls all over the field, which had a huge impact on the game. Offensively it was our best performance of the year, and defensively, we stiffened up in the second half."
Though Brendan Damm gave Plattsburgh the early 1-0 lead, St. Lawrence responded with four straight goals in the first quarter in a span of 3:49. Senior Mac Johnson tied the game on a feed from Vautour, while rookie long-stick middie Malcolm Lynch scored in transition for a 2-1 lead. Vautour then scored back-to-back tallies for a 4-1 advantage with 4:01 left in the first.
Plattsburgh's Anthony Pafundi and Brett McClelland scored only :40 seconds apart to cap the first half scoring and keep the visitors within striking distance. They would pull even at 5-5 in the second quarter thanks to tallies from Nick Travers and McClelland, tying the score with 8:41 left in the first half.
After St. Lawrence's Tucker Garfield and Plattsburgh's Tom Duggan exchanged goals, Vautour added a highlight-reel tally with under :10 seconds left in the half, beating his defender, running to his left and firing a bullet past Cardinal goalie Gordie Gehring. The tally completed the hat trick and gave the Scarlet and Brown a 7-6 cushion at intermission.
Senior co-captain Davey Hovey and sophomore Garrett Gagne scored back-to-back man-up goals in the third quarter to push the Saints' lead to 9-6. However, Travers and Tim Lawrence answered for the visitors, making it a one-goal game at 9-8 heading to the fourth quarter.
The home team would not relinquish the lead, as Vautour added an insurance goal early off a feed from Hovey with 11:46 remaining. Senior Josh Robinson would cap the game's scoring with 9:09 left, scoring another transition goal for an 11-8 advantage.
The St. Lawrence defense did the rest, causing turnovers and forcing difficult shots for Plattsburgh. The Saints' transition game also allowed them to efficiently run the clock, while the visitors continued to take penalty-after-penalty down the stretch.
McClelland and Travers finished with two goals each for the Cardinals, while Travers won 11-of-19 face-offs and scooped up a game-high nine ground balls. Robinson had a game-high three caused turnovers for the Saints, while Cam Scullen had a team-best six ground balls.
Gehring suffered the loss in net for Plattsburgh after making nine saves and was ejected from the contest after the game had ended. Senior Jack Nuland made only six saves in the win, but both of his stops in the second half kept the Cardinals from gaining momentum.
The St. Lawrence men's lacrosse team hosted an event to aid in the fight against lymphoma, raising money and awareness to take on a disease that takes the lives of 25,000 people worldwide each year. It is the most common blood cancer diagnosed in adults. The Saints previously hosted an event titled "Trucking Over Lymphoma" in the fall of 2011, in which the team pulled a tractor trailer through campus. The event raised over $5,000, which was donated to a lymphoma foundation. The team will sell and auction their green and white uniforms from Wednesday in the coming weeks.
St. Lawrence will be in action again on Saturday, April 6 when they head to Poughkeepsie, NY to face Vassar College in Liberty League play at 1:00pm.