Manhattan vs. Sacred Heart
March 10, 2007
The Game Story:
Ossining, N.Y. (March 10, 2007)—Manhattan freshman Luke Dilillo scored his first of two second-half goals with 10:28 remaining in the third quarter to put the Jaspers ahead for good en route to a 10-8 victory on Saturday afternoon at Dilley Field in Ossining, N.Y. Jasper net minder John Geagan made sure the lead held up by making seven of his 19 saves in the fourth quarter.

Dilillo’s goals were the first two of the rookie’s collegiate career.

With Manhattan clinging to a 7-6 advantage early on in the final period, Geagan and the Jasper defense were tested when freshmen Steven Sternberg and Tim Clancy were whistled for slashing penalties only 17 seconds apart. Despite having two starting defensemen locked away in the penalty box, the Jaspers came out unscathed.

Riding the momentum from the penalty kill, attackman Brian Murray, who has opened his senior season on a tear, worked his way into the circle and beat Sacred Heart goalie Ricardo Vargas, putting Manhattan up 8-6 with 10:39 to go in the fourth quarter. With two goals and two assists in Saturday’s victory, Murray now leads the team with seven goals and six assists during the first three games of the 2007 campaign.

Dilillo struck again on an unassisted goal with 8:33 left in regulation to extend Manhattan’s advantage to 9-6. Only 26 seconds later, the freshman set up senior Jeremy Marrano for his second goal of the young season, which gave the Jaspers their largest lead of the day at four.

Sacred Heart’s Bobby Rushton answered Marrano’s tally to pull his squad within three at the 7:33 mark of the fourth period, but the Pioneers would only score once more from that point forward, a man-up goal by Evan Morgan with only 14 ticks left in the game.

After Peter Greco opened the game’s scoring by putting Sacred Heart on the board 38 seconds into the contest, Manhattan rattled off three straight scores to hold a 3-1 lead after the first quarter of play. Freshman Matt Ryan netted Manhattan’s first tally of the day off of a pass from Murray at the 6:35 mark. Exactly 1:10 later, senior Chris Oppito scored his first of two on the day, putting the Jaspers up 2-1. Murray capped the run by finding the back of the net with only seven ticks left in the first period.

Sacred Heart answered back with three straight goals of its own, two courtesy of Greco, in the second quarter to take a 4-3 advantage into the dressing room. None of Manhattan’s nine shots in the period found the back of the net as Vargas was forced to make only one save in the frame after turning aside seven Jasper shots in the opening stanza.

The Jaspers drew first blood in the second half to even the score at four when Murray found sophomore Marc Labelle right in front of the cage. Labelle buried the ball into the net from point-blank range only 1:31 into the period for his fourth goal thus far in 2007.

Manhattan will face Division II opponent Lees-McRae College on Monday, March 12 at 1:00 p.m. in Banner Elk, N.C. before heading to Philadelphia, Pa. for the MAAC opener against Saint Joseph’s University on Saturday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m.