Saint Joseph's vs. Bellarmine
March 4, 2009
The Game Story:
PHILADELPHIA--The Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse were unable to overcome a four-goal deficit in the second half, falling to Bellarmine, 8-7, on Wednesday at Franklin Field. Scott Cullinan 's three goals and Erik Hotaling 's 16 saves weren't enough to knock off the Knights.

Saint Joseph's (2-3) outscored Bellarmine, 4-1, down the stretch after falling behind 7-3 early in the third. Even strength goals by Charlie Gorman and Cullinan cut the lead in half with back-to-back tallies with just over four minutes to play in the third at 7-5.

Chris O'Neill opened the scoring in the fourth with a goal six minutes into the frame off a Sean Evans assist to make it 7-6 in a man-up situation.

Just 90 seconds later, while SJU was on another man-up situation, Bellarmine (3-1) struck for a goal in transition to stretch the lead to 8-6.

The Hawks were unrelenting as they answered immediately when Cullinan's ninth goal of the season found the back of the net. Alex Lopes was able to feed Cullinan in front of the net with seven minutes to play.

After a frantic Bellarmine possession in which Lopes stopped an empty net opportunity, the Hawks couldn't muster the equalizer and the Knights left Franklin Field the victors.

Early in the proceedings Bellarmine controlled the pace and style of the second period after leading the first stanza, 3-2. BU outscored the Hawks 3-1 including a goal right before halftime to give the Knights a 6-3 cushion. The lone Saint Joseph's goal during that span came on an unassisted tally from Lopes.

Hotaling stood tall in net making 16 saves, 16 of which were in the final three periods. He made seven saves in the pivotal third period let Saint Joseph's begin its rally. His counterpart, Scott Bowles, stopped 15 shots for the game.

Saint Joseph's received strong performances from Rob Saraceni (four caused turnovers, three ground balls), Ryan Tessler (10-19 face-offs, eight ground balls), and Pete Slowik (five ground balls, one assist, one caused turnover).

The game was virtually even throughout the statistics as SJU held slight edges in shots (33-32), face-offs won (10-9), man-up goals (2-1), and saves (17-15). The Knights saw advantages in ground balls (28-27), successful clears (23-18), and turnovers (19-21). Both teams committed five penalties, which resulted in 3:30 in penalty time for the Hawks and 3:00 for Bellarmine.

The game was played at Penn's Franklin Field due to Monday's snowstorm, which covered Finnesey Field. The Hawks are now 1-7 all-time at Franklin Field and 0-2 in 2009 for noon games.

Saint Joseph's will host Drexel on Tuesday on Finnesey Field. The opening face-off is set for 7:00 p.m.