Hartford vs. Holy Cross
March 4, 2008
The Game Story:
WEST HARTFORD, CT – The University of Hartford lacrosse team dropped a 9-7 decision in its home opener against Holy Cross on Tuesday afternoon at Al-Marzook Field.

Chris Smirti scored three goals while Kenny Minor recorded two scores and a pair of assists as Holy Cross improved to 3-1 overall. Sophomore Justin Bearse and senior Tom Harris each netted two goals apiece to lead Hartford (0-3 overall).

Smirti scored the game’s first goal but the Hawks answered behind tallies from senior Brian Tilley and Bearse. Tilley’s score was unassisted while Bearse scored on a feed from junior Jacob Eustice. Holy Cross then tied the game at 2-2 with 11 seconds remaining in the opening quarter on a goal by Minor.

Hartford took advantage of an illegal stick call in between the first and second quarters and started the second stanza with a three-minute extra-man advantage. Harris scored his first goal of the day just over a minute into the penalty to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead, but the Crusaders did well to kill the remainder of the penalty without any more damage.

The Hawks took their biggest lead at 4-2 on a goal by Eustice with 11:38 to play in the half. Holy Cross, however, narrowed the margin by scoring three straight times before the halftime whistle. Matt Petri scored with 8:21 to go on a feed from Matt Moran, who also fed John Marino for a man-up goal with 4:00 remaining. Prior to Marino’s goal, Smirti added his second of the game off an assist from Minor, and the Crusaders took a 5-4 lead into the locker room at the intermission.

Holy Cross scored the first three goals of the second half to increase its lead to 8-4. Smirti notched the hat trick just over three minutes into the half off an assist from Minor, and Toby Banta followed with a score with 7:11 to go in the quarter. Minor capped the stretch with his second goal of the day with 1:25 to play on a pass from Colin Flood.

Hartford finally snapped the string when freshman Michael Cudmore found Harris for his second goal with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter. The Hawks then started the fourth stanza on a positive note, with junior David Spivey finding the back of the net to cut the deficit to 8-6.

The Hawks attacked the net over the final 10 minutes of the contest but couldn’t get any closer. Holy Cross’ Conor McKenna scored an insurance goal with 3:19 to go to make it 9-6. Hartford’s final goal came from Bearse with 45 seconds left in the game.

Hartford outshot Holy Cross 29-24, but Crusaders’ goalkeeper Jimmy Harrison was up to the task. He finished with 10 saves and played the entire game in goal. Hartford junior Jon McMahon picked up six saves between the pipes.

Hartford will next play at Sacred Heart University on Saturday, March 8 at 1 p.m.