Wagner vs. Mount Saint Mary's
April 28, 2012
The Game Story:
Staten Island, NY – The Wagner College men’s lacrosse team fell behind 4-0 early, battled back to make it a 7-3 game but Mount St. Mary’s countered with a 7-1 run in building a 14-4 lead en route to posting a 16-7 Northeast Conference (NEC) win.

With the victory, the Mountaineers improve to 5-8 overall, 2-3 in the NEC and claim the final spot in next weekend’s NEC Tournament, joining Bryant, Robert Morris and Quinnipiac in the four-team affair.

Had Wagner won today, the Seahawks would have been headed to the NEC Tourney. Instead, Wagner finishes the season with a 1-13 mark, 1-4 in the NEC. Despite their final season mark, the Seahawks were a much-improved club under first-year head coach Matt Poskay, putting a scare into several teams during the season, dropping four games by four goals or less - vs. Rutgers (9-5), Saint Joseph's (9-5), at VMI (12-11, OT), and at Mercer (14-11).

The Seahawks, however, found themselves on their heels early in this one as the Mountaineers seized an early 4-0 lead, with two goals coming from Brett Schmidt. Wagner broke the ice with 6:31 left in the opening quarter as senior attackman Mike Hurley (Billerica, MA/ Billerica) fired home a fast-break goal on the dead run after receiving a pretty feed from freshman defenseman Matt Bunting (Wyckoff, NJ/ Ramapo) to make it 4-1.

The Mount followed with a three-goal splurge in building a 7-1 advantage before junior midfielder Nick DePhillips (Glen Ridge, NJ/ Glen Ridge), with 35 seconds left in the first quarter, buried an unassisted goal to make it a 7-2 game.. Junior attackman Sam Morrissey (Long Valley, NJ/ West Morris Central) inched Wagner to within 7-3 on a tremendous individual effort, scoring on a gorgeous wrap-around goal with 11:03 left in the opening half.

The Mount ended the half with a pair of goals to make it 9-3.The 2-0 spurt to close the half kick-started what became a 7-1 run which ballooned the lead to 14-4 with 9:52 remaining in the game.

The Schmidt brothers were at the forefront of the Mount’s arsenal, with Brett Schmidt scoring three goals and three assists while Bryant Schmidt also managed a hat trick in addition to one assist. Anthony Golden was the third Mountaineer to record a hat trick on the afternoon. Andrew Scalley and Christian Kellett finished with two goals apiece.

Wagner was led by two goals each by DePhillips and Morrissey, with DePhillips adding an assist to give him a team-high three points on the day. Junior midfielder Colin O’Rourke (Worcester, MA/ St. John’s Shrewsbury) uncorked a bullet straight-on goal from 20 yards out after receiving a pass from DePhillips for his lone goal of the game that made it 9-4 with 11:25 to go. This would prove to be Wagner’s only tally, however, during the Mount’s decisive 7-1 run.

Also scoring single goals for the Seahawks were Hedges and Hurley. Others who notched points on the afternoon for Wagner with one assist apiece were Bunting, DePhillips and senior midfielder Cory Perkins (Chatsworth, CA/ Chaminade Prep).

The Mount held a 50-24 edge in shots, led in ground balls 31-13, while winning 19-of-27 faceoffs. Sophomore Nicholas Gibaldi (Rocky Point, NY/ Rocky Point) had 11 saves in goal for the Seahawks during the game’s first 51:37 before giving way to senior Peter Rubin (East Rockaway, NY/ East Rockaway) who made one save in the final 8:23 of the contest. Chris Klaiber got the win in goal for the Mount, recording six saves during his 52:05 stint. Kevin Hess came on to play the final 7:55 and was not credited with any saves while allowing one goal.

While Wagner managed just one win this season, that lone Seahawk victory was a memorable won, an 11-8 home victory over NEC for Sacred Heart on April 14. Wagner punctuated a rousing comeback with a game-ending 5-0 run, highlighted by clutch goaltending by Gibaldi, who would go on to earn NEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his 20-save effort.

The future appears bright for the Seahawks. Under Poskay, the former Virginia All-American, National Champion and current Major Lacrosse League All-Star, Wagner was much improved in the fundamentals of the game and played a much crisper brand of lacrosse.

The junior midfield combo of DePhillips and O'Rourke scored 27 and 25 pts, respectively, to pace Wagner in scoring on the season. Hurley added 22 points while Hedges and Morrissey had 15 points apiece on the season for the Seahawks. The sixth Wagner player to reach double figures in points was junior attackman Brian Faughnan (New Canaan, CT/ New Canaan), who finished with 11.

Junior defenseman Dustin Doty (Sherman Oaks, CA/ Crespi Carmelite) was far and away the team leader in ground balls with 43 while sophomore defenseman Matthew Shute (Suffield, CT/ Suffield) led the Seahawks in caused turnovers with 11. In goal, Gibaldi came up with 182 saves while logging 785:53 of action between the pipes for the Seahawks.

NOTE: Today’s 2012 season finale was also Senior Day as the Seahawks honored their seven graduating seniors in a pre-game ceremony. The seven seniors who donned the Green & White for the final time were midfielders John Andrejack (Jamesport, NY/ Riverhead), James Cazzupe (Radnor, PA/ Archbishop John Carroll) and William Hedges (Shoreham, NY/ Longwood), attackman Mike Hurley (Billerica, MA/ Billerica), midfielders Cory Perkins (Chatsworth, CA/ Chaminade College Prep) and John Rushton (West Islip, NY/ West Islip) and goalkeeper Peter Rubin (East Rockaway, NY/ East Rockaway).