Hartford vs. Siena
March 14, 2012
The Game Story:
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Hartford men’s lacrosse team managed to trim a late 11-goal deficit to five in the final quarter of play, but the Hawks ran out of time and saw their second half rally fall short as the visiting Siena Saints pulled out of Alumni Stadium with a 22-17 triumph on Wednesday afternoon.

A foursome of seniors paced Hartford’s (1-5) scoring led by Carter Bender who finished with eight points, a career-high, on four goals and four assists. Ryan Compitello also enjoyed a career day with seven points, including a personal-best five assists while classmate Aidan Genik joined Bender with four goals on the afternoon. Martin Bowes rounded out the Hawks’ top scorers with a hat trick.

The 39 combined goals scored were the second most in a game in Hartford’s Division I era, a 27-year span. Ten years ago, Hartford and Siena (2-3) surpassed Wednesday’s total with a record-setting 41 in the Hawks’ 29-12 defeat on April 16.

After entering the halftime break facing a 16-6 disadvantage which quickly turned in to an 11 point hole in the opening seconds of the third quarter, Hartford picked up the energy and made a push by scoring eight of the game’s next 10 goals, including five in a row, to cut its halftime deficit in half with 13:47 left to play.

Genik scored the Hawks’ first tally of the second half, unassisted, at the 12:35 mark but Danny Martinsen responded for the Saints just 28 seconds later to help his team regain that 11 goal edge at 18-7.

The Hawks would not go down easily however as they went on to net five of the next six goals to close out the third stanza, sparked by Compitello’s marker with 9:08 to go. Genik’s second goal of the quarter made it two-straight for Hartford and cut its deficit to nine with 4:01 remaining but Siena ended Hartford’s rally and pushed its advantage back into double digits at 19-9 less than one minute later on a goal by Chris Roth.

With under a minute left to play in the third, the momentum shifted in favor of Hartford as it reeled off three-straight goals within a span of 47 ticks. Compitello got the rally going when he cleaned up on a Hawks’ shot attempt and fed classmate Ben Knapton from point blank with 52 seconds left in the third period.

The Saints came up with possession in the ensuing face-off however Alex Matarazzo forced the visitors into a turnover allowing Compitello to set up Genik with 27 seconds to go and make it an eight point game at 19-11. The Hawks won the next face-off and with five ticks left on the clock, Bender delivered his third goal of the game to help his team pull within seven of the Saints heading into the final quarter.

Hartford kept the rally going into the fourth period and showed no signs of letting up as it scored the next two tallies of the game. After winning the opening draw of the final quarter, Bowes made it four unanswered when he found the back of the net for the second time on the afternoon and Bender followed suit just over one minute later and cut the deficit to five at 19-14 with 11:36 left to play.

Nate Barry ended the Hawks’ flurry of goals at 12:18 to put his team back up by six but Hartford was quick to respond as Compitello made it 20-15 less than one minute later when he converted on a crafty trick play by Bender.

Three possessions later, Hartford nearly cut the Saints’ advantage to just four goals with 8:27 left on the scoreboard but Rory Nunamacher’s score was called back when he fell in the crease before the ball crossed the goal line. Unfortunately for Hartford, it would not muster up a run to come any closer as the teams exchanged four goals to close out the game.

After holding a commanding 28-11 advantage in the shots column in the first half, Siena finished with the slight 39-38 edge. The battle at the face-off X was evenly matched throughout the game with the Saints winning just over half of the duels (22-of-43).

Neufeld finished the game with 11 points, including six goals and five assists, while Martinsen added nine tallies on a pair of goals and seven assists. Colin Clive and Chris D’Alberti each netted four goals to round out the Saints’ top scorers.