Vmi vs. Saint Joseph's
February 25, 2012
The Game Story:
LEXINGTON, Va. – With two-goal, one assist effort, senior midfielder Keith Long finished his day with three points, but it was not enough as the VMI lacrosse team fell 12-4 in its 2012 home opener against Saint Joseph’s University.

The game, which kicked off at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, was the first contest for VMI at Foster Stadium this season, concluded a three-game road run for the Keydets to open the 2012 season.

“From groundballs to face-offs, to finishing to execution, it was not a VMI effort. It was unacceptable the way we played today,” said Keydet headman Brian Anken. “There are some things that absolutely need to be addressed with our program after today’s effort.”

Long finished the day as VMI’s leading scorer, while Russell East and Anderson Caldwell each turned in a goal. Long had the Keydets’ only assist.

Saint Joseph’s (1-3) Ryan McGee led the day with three goals and two assists. Teammate Kyle Williams was second with a hat trick. McGee took 10 shots on the day, setting the pace for the game. Patrick Townsend posted a pair of goals while another three Hawks had one goal each.

Between the pipes, VMI’s Kelly McMinn made 11 saves against 34 total shots faced. It marked the fourth time this season McMinn has made double-digit saves, bringing his season total to 60, averaging 15 per outing.

Opposite McMinn, Griffin Ferrigan made six saves en route to his first win of the season.

At the face-off X, VMI narrowly held the advantage as senior specialist Stephen Robarge went 10-of-19. He grabbed four groundballs in the process. The Keydets held the edge in groundballs for the first time this season, picking up 28 while the Hawks managed to grab 25.

The day’s groundball efforts were led by VMI’s Rory Dillon, who had five. In addition to Robarge’s four, East snared four as face-off winger Chris Rossie scooped up three.

The Keydets jumped out early as Long sniped his first goal of the game just over a minute in, marking the third time in four games VMI has struck first.

“Keith’s effort is always great,” said Anken of his team’s leading scorer, who today extended his point streak to 17 games. “But we need someone else to step up, and we need a lot of other people to step up. As teams continue to counter, it’s really impressive to see teams’ efforts on taking Keith out of the game and he’s still going to tally his points.

But the Hawks would score three straight from three different goal scorers. Caldwell snapped the run with a goal at 4:58, cutting the Hawk lead to 3-2. Saint Joseph’s would score the final marker of the first quarter with one minute left.

East got the action going in the second quarter, once again pulling VMI to within one goal of the lead, down 4-3 with nearly the full second stanza to play. Saint Joseph’s extended its lead back to two after Williams scored his first.

One minute later, Long got the Keydets within one for a third time as he found the back of the net with 9:52 left in the second quarter.

That proved to be the final goal for the Keydets as the Hawks rattled off seven unanswered goals to finish the contest, holding VMI scoreless in the second half.

Penalties hurt VMI, including three on senior defender Kyle Hofstetter, one of which was a an unnecessary roughness. The officials deemed the penalty to be of the non-releasable sort and the Hawks cashed in a pair of goals during the one-minute opportunity. Saint Joseph’s man-down unit held the Keydets scoreless on their three opportunities.

VMI went 13-of-17 in clear attempts, aided by a perfect six-for-six effort in the final quarter. The Hawks cleared on 16 of their 19 tries.

Saint Joseph’s held a wide margin in shooting, taking 34 attempts while VMI took just 16.