Vmi vs. Manhattan
March 21, 2009
The Game Story:

LEXINGTON, Va. – The VMI lacrosse team dropped its second Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contest of the season Saturday afternoon, falling 11-6 to the Manhattan Jaspers in a game played at VMI’s Foster Stadium.

With the win, Manhattan moves to 3-4 overall and the Jaspers even their MAAC record at 1-1. VMI loses its fifth-consecutive game and falls to 1-7 overall, and 0-2 in League play. The Keydets were paced by Colin Bosse and Alex Benedick, as the two freshmen had the best games of their young careers. Bosse had VMI’s first four goals, all coming in the first half, while Benedick had a career-high 16 saves in the setback. However, the pair of fourth classmen could not overcome an early four-goal run by the visitors, helping the Jaspers secure the win.

The Keydets got off to a quick start on the clear, slightly cool day, as Bosse struck for the first of his quartet of scores just 1:12 into the game. The goal was unassisted and gave VMI its only lead of the day, 1-0.

The Jaspers came back less than three minutes later, scoring to square the game at 1. Luke Dilillo followed with a goal for the visitors, as he tallied a marker at the 7:35 mark, and Manhattan took a 2-1 lead. That advantage lasted less than 30 seconds, as Bosse scored off a Tim Moran feed to knot the score at 2.

Manhattan responded, and took the lead for good at the 6:22 mark. Joe Variano scored to put the visitors up 3-2, and James Synowiez capped the Manhattan scoring by netting a goal with 37 seconds on the clock. The Jaspers held a 4-2 lead after one period, in spite of five Benedick saves.

The Manhattan run continued in the second, as Justin Jensen and Kelly Mahon tallied markers to put the Jaspers up 6-2. VMI fought back, as Bosse netted two goals in less than two minutes to cut the deficit in half. Both goals came off Brett Leonard feeds, and the second came with 3:38 left in the half, cutting the Manhattan lead to 6-4. The Jaspers would get back on the board in the final moments of the quarter, as they added another marker to account for the halftime margin, 7-4.

Manhattan outshot the Keydets 22-15 in the first half of action, but VMI held the edge in groundballs, 22-12. The Keydets also dominated in the faceoff X, winning 9-of-12 during the opening 30 minutes.

The Jaspers came out of the locker room quickly, as they scored at the 12:20 mark to take a four-goal lead, 8-4. The teams then settled into an up-and-down style, as they combined for 21 shots in the frame. However, neither club scored another goal until the 1:45 mark, when Jaspers’ veteran Salvator Spatarella beat Benedick to make it 9-4, which was the margin after three quarters.

The Keydets continued their face-off dominance in the third 15 minutes of play, winning all three contested, but Manhattan was able to fire 13 shots at Benedick during the frame to control the tempo. The Jaspers also outgained VMI in groundballs, winning the stat 13-5.

VMI tried to mount a fourth-quarter rally, and take advantage of four Manhattan penalties during the final period. Moran scored a man-up goal at the 9:40 mark to cut the margin to four, 9-5, and the co-captain added another score at 6:22, chopping the deficit back to three, 9-6. However, the Jasper defense held firm, and goalie John Geagan made three crucial saves to keep VMI down three. The Jaspers added two goals late to account for the final margin, 11-6.

In addition to Bosse and Benedick, VMI was led by Moran and Leonard. Moran notched two goals and an assist, while Leonard had two helpers on the day. The duo of Chris Rossie and Stephen Robarge was impressive in the faceoff category, as Rossie prevailed in 9-of-13 draws, while Robarge captured five of the six he contested.

Manhattan was led by Synowitz’s three goals, and the Jaspers saw eight different players account for their goals in the contest.

VMI lacrosse will return to action next Saturday, as the Keydets travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to battle the Hawks of Saint Joseph’s University in MAAC action. Game time is set for 1 p.m.