Vmi vs. Manhattan
April 9, 2005
The Game Story:
LEXINGTON, Va. – Forced to play from behind throughout the game, VMI endured a hard fought 12-9 setback to Manhattan in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference lacrosse action held earlier Saturday afternoon at Patchin Field. The Keydets are now 4-5 overall at stand at 2-2 in the MAAC while Manhattan improves to 4-4 overall and remains undefeated in MAAC play at 3-0. For VMI, the game was part of the annual spring sports weekend which included the gathering of past lacrosse alumni as well as senior day for the Keydets. VMI’s seven seniors were each recognized with family members in a short ceremony prior to the start of the game.

The seven seniors who were recognized for their dedication and commitment to the VMI program were goalkeeper Matt Hook (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville), midfielder Leo McInerney (Syracuse, N.Y./Marcellus), midfielder Jeff Rummell (Hudson, Ohio/Western Reserve), midfielder Erik Rohrmann (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield), midfielder Adam Noelte (North Scituate, R.I./Lasalle Academy), attackman Gabe McCaig (Painted Post, N.Y./Corning West), and defenseman Jay Morgan (Clarksville, Md./River Hill).

Senior attackman Justin Otto (Merrick, N.Y. Chaminade) led the Jaspers with six points on five goals and one assist while recording a team-high nine shots including seven on goal. Manhattan also got two goals apiece from sophomore midfielder Chris Oppito (West Babylon, N.Y./West Babylon) and sophomore midfielder Christian Schaefers (West Milford, N.J./Bergen Catholic). Junior goalkeeper Dan Frank (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) also recorded a season-high 14 saves to spark the home defense.

VMI was led by McInerney who tallied four points on a pair of goals and assists. Three other Keydets scored two goals on the day with those coming from junior midfielder David Trimble (Oak Hill, Va./Oakton), junior attackman Will Collier (Centreville, Va./Woodberry Forest), and Rohrmann with Rohrmann and Trimble each adding one assist for three points apiece.

Manhattan took the early lead, scoring twice within the first five minutes of play. Senior attackman Eugene Tanner (Medford, N.Y./Patchogue Medford) opened the scoring with an unassisted goal while Oppito added a man-up goal off an assist from Otto with 10:24 left to play.

Collier put the Keydets on the scoreboard after taking a pass from McInerney and firing it into the net with 6:18 left to play in the first quarter. That closed out the first period scoring as VMI trailed just 2-1, despite being outshot 11-2.

The Keydets turned the tables somewhat in the second quarter with some aggressive play helping them outshoot the Jaspers 10-6. The two teams would split four goals in the period as VMI kept it close. McInerney scored both of the Keydets’ goals in the period the second of which came off an assist from Rohrmann with just 1:06 left in the first half. That made it 4-3 Manhattan which stood as the score at intermission.

“I thought we should have had the lead at the half,” VMI coach Doug Bartlett said. “We had two one-on-ones with the goalkeeper and hit the pipes.”

The second half began rough for the Keydets as Manhattan scored three goals in the first 2:18 of the third quarter to gain some breathing room. Oppito opened the surge with an unassisted goal before junior midfielder Sean Crowley (East Walpole, Ma./Walpole) scored off an assist from sophomore attackman Brian Murray (Hillsdale, N.J./Bergen Catholic).

Those first two goals came just 32 seconds apart and would be followed by another goal when senior defenseman Gerard McCloskey (Centereach, N.Y./Centereach) assisted Otto putting the Jaspers in front 7-3.

“We lost our focus on those three quick goals,” Bartlett said, “We spent the rest of the game trying to climb out of that hole. We were in a desperate situation the rest of the game.”

VMI still battled hard but fell short in its attempt to score quickly. Manhattan would maintain a three-goal lead the rest of the way.

The teams would split the next four goals in the third quarter before Manhattan closed out the period scoring with a man-up goal by Otto with Tanner supplying the assist. The Jaspers took a 10-5 lead into the final period.

Both teams turned up the intensity in the fourth quarter and played to a near draw on offense as each recorded 10 shots in the period. VMI would have the scoring edge at 4-2 but ultimately that would not be enough.

The Keydets return to action on Wednesday April 13 when they host Washington & Lee in the annual Lee-Jackson Classic which will be played at Alumni Memorial Field beginning at 3:30 pm.