Saint Andrews vs. Mercyhurst
February 27, 2008
The Game Story:
LAURINBURG, N.C.óMercyhurst College, ranked No. 3 nationally in the USILA Coachesí Poll, scored four straight goals to start the second half to pull away from host St. Andrews Presbyterian College en route to a 9-4 non-conference menís lacrosse victory on a cold and windy Wednesday afternoon at Knights Field.

Junior Aaron Manzer (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and sophomore Michael Sciulli (Pittsburgh, Pa.) each recorded a hat trick to help the Lakers remain perfect on the season at 2-0. Junior Cole Howell (St. Albert, Alberta, Canada) had two goals and an assist to lead the winless Knights (0-2).

St. Andrews was without fourth year head coach Michael Lawson (due to illness) and first year assistant coach Tim Murphy led the Knights the highly ranked Lakers.

Sophomore Tyler Burton (London, Ontario, Canada) scored the first goal of the afternoon just 2:52 into the game. Manzer followed with his first goal of the day to give Mercyhurst a 2-0 lead. Manzer also assisted on Burtonís goal.

The Lakers defense, anchored by Inside Lacrosse pre-season All-American goalkeeper Jason LaShomb (Rush, N.Y.), was able to hold onto the lead for the rest of the game. LaShomb made five of his 11 saves in the first quarter to keep the Knights offense at bay.

Howell scored just 50 seconds after Manzerís first tally to pull St. Andrews to within one, 2-1, after the first quarter.

Mercyhurst once again doubled up the Knights scoring output in the second quarter (2-1) to double their lead to 4-2 at halftime. Sciulli scored on a Jordan Witt (Orchard Park, N.Y.) assist while junior Mike Thon (Penfield, N.Y.) netted a pass by classmate Luke Prattico (Fairport, N.Y.) to extend the Lakers lead to three. Sciulli and Thonís goals came in the first 26 seconds of the second stanza on back-to-back face off wins by Thon.

Howell answered for the Knights scoring his second goal of the first half by tipping a clearing pass, grabbing the ground ball, and depositing the ball into an open net to pull the Royal Blue and White to within two at the intermission.

After the break, Mercyhurst scored the next four goals including the only two scores of the third quarter to pull away with an 8-2 lead. Junior Michael Bartlett (Orchard Park, N.Y.) and Sciulli each netted an unassisted goal in the third for the Lakers.

Manzer scored two more goals in fourth and Scuilli added his third goal as both players completed their hat tricks. Bartlett picked up an assist on Manzerís second goal.

LaShomb and the Mercyhurst defense held the Knights without a goal for over 35 minutes of game time giving the Lakers offense time to build on their lead.

St. Andrews scored two late goals by taking advantage of a couple extra-man opportunities (EMO) to cut the final deficit to five goals. The Knights scored three of their four goals on the man-advantage. Junior Kyle Loda (Vienna, Va.) tallied St. Andrews first goal of the fourth quarter while freshman Nick Lewnes (Arnold, Md.) scored in the final minute on a Howell assist.

Mercyhurst held a commanding 39-19 shot margin but Knights junior netminder Nate Hull (Millersville, Md.) made 18 saves.

SAPC won 12-of-17 face offs thanks in part to 11 wins and seven ground balls by junior Ethan Young (Hilliard, Ohio). The Lakers finished with slim 43-36 ground ball edge.

St. Andrews next visits Seton Hill University (Greensburg, Pa.) on Sunday, March 2 at 1:00 p.m. while Mercyhurst wraps up its three-game southern road trip on Saturday when they square off against Wingate University at 1:00 p.m.