Vmi vs. Canisius
March 15, 2003
The Game Story:
LEXINGTON, Va. -- The VMI lacrosse team withstood a furious Canisius rally and reigned victorious, 13-9 in its first-ever game as a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) at Patchin Field on Saturday afternoon.

"I've waited 18 years to find a home for this program and to give it something to play for (a confernece championship)," said VMI head coach Doug Bartlett. "Now VMI lacrosse is reaping the benefits of being a member of a conference."

VMI (1-3, 1-0 MAAC) took an early lead, oustcoring the Golden Griffins (0-5, 0-2 MAAC) in the first quarter, 4-2 and the second quarter, 2-0, building a 6-2 halftime lead.

The Keydets then exploded in the third quarter for five goals, raising the lead to 11-4. The third quarter scoring was headed by junior attackman Leo McInerney (Syracuse, N.Y./ Marcellus), who scored two tallies in the third stanza on his way to a career-high four-goal performance.

Canisius then rallied to cut the lead to 11-9 with 5:22 left in the game, scoring the first four goals of the final stanza. VMI responded with goals by sophomore midfielder Dan Pearsall (Davidsonville, Md./ South River) and senior midfielder Brian Niven (Barrington, Ill./ Barrington) to seal the four-goal win. Pearsall's goal was the first of his career. Niven's came on the heels of a performance that saw him win 14 of 16 face-offs on the day.

VMI was led in scoring by McInerney, who added an assist to his four goals. Four different Keydets scored two goals a piece. Three different Golden Griffins scored two goals for the Canisius benefit.

VMI senior goalkeeper Brian Ward (Novi, Mich./ Novi) made seven saves on the day. Canisius freshman Thomas Kucharczak made eight stops. VMI's defense was spearheaded by sophomore Jay Morgan (Clarksville, Md./ River Hill), who picked up 10 ground balls, seven coming in the first half. VMI will return to action on Tuesday against defending MAAC champion Manhattan. The teams will face off on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Canisius will play host to Marist next Saturday at 2 p.m.