Endicott vs. Saint Lawrence
May 10, 2006
The Game Story:
BEVERLY, MA - The St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team held off a late Endicott College rally to defeat the Gulls 13-10 in the first round of the NCAA tournament Wednesday afternoon. The late charge by the Gulls was sparked by senior Kevin Lally (Derry, NH) who distributed three of his four assists in the fourth quarter.

The opening quarter provided plenty of opportunities for both teams to get their offenses jump started. The Saints wasted very little time getting on the board, as junior Nick Mastine (Erin, Ontario) scored the first goal of the game only 47 seconds into regulation. Mastine gave the visiting team a 1-0 lead when he fired a shot past Endicott goaltender Ryan Walsh (Weymouth, MA) on a delayed penalty.

The Gulls would waste little time in evening the score at 1-1, though, as freshman Brandon Dube (Danvers, MA) fed junior Dan Ryan (Billerica, MA) from behind St. Lawrence goaltender Justin Demuth (Jordan, NY). Ryan took a low shot that beat Demuth for the home team's first goal of the afternoon.

Much of the following eighteen minutes of the first half would belong to St. Lawrence, as they used fantastic heads-up passing and some pretty shots to grab a 7-1 advantage. At 7:22 of the first quarter, freshman Pete Carroll (Pennington, NJ) made a beautiful pass across the goalie's crease to sophomore Ben Prime (Hingham, MA), who buried the shot to give St. Lawrence a 2-1 edge.

The No. 18 ranked team in the country wouldn't stop there, though, as Prime would net his second straight goal with 1:16 to go in the opening fifteen minutes of play. With a large scrum in front of the Endicott goal, the ball popped out right to an awaiting Prime, who took the open look and scored to put the Saints ahead 3-1 at the end of the first quarter.

St. Lawrence carried their momentum into the second quarter, as junior Brendan Lynch (Medfield, MA) got things going 2:20 into play to put the Saints up 4-1. A mere 24 seconds later at 2:34 of the second quarter, Carroll fed a pass to sophomore Kevin Russell (Madison, CT) in front of Walsh. Russell quickly faked a shot, then took a behind-the-head shot that completely fooled the Gulls' netminder to put the Saints ahead 5-1.

Russell kept his attack going, scoring three consecutive goals in a four minute span to extend the visitor's lead to 7-1. His second goal came with 8:43 to play in the first half when he collected a rebound and laced a shot between Walsh's legs for the 6-1 advantage. His third goal, which completed the Saints' first half scoring, was another behind-the-head shot that Walsh again couldn't manage.

Endicott, trailing by six, refused to roll over as the Gulls clawed their way back into the contest with two goals to close the first half. Just as the Saints killed off a two-man advantage, Endicott's John Ortoloni (Billerica, MA) got the ball to freshman Dan Cain (Billerica, MA) who slipped a high shot past Demuth to close the gap to 7-2. The Gulls would score the final goal of the second quarter to make the score 7-3 at the break. With only 38 seconds left in the half, Endicott's Brendan Delaney (Franklin, MA) made a long cross-field pass to a wide open Burt Fahy (Needham, MA) who had slipped behind the St. Lawrence defense. Fahey's shot got past Demuth for the third Endicott goal and gave the home team some confidence heading into the second half down by four.

The Saints would own the scoring in the beginning of the second half, running off four consecutive goals to take an 11-3 lead. Freshman Tyler Moore (North Andover, MA) began a huge second half individual effort with two goals, the first coming 50 seconds into the third quarter. He took a pass from Andy Centauro (Sudbury, MA) to Walsh's right side where he had been left all alone and scored his first of the game. After a goal by Carroll extended the Saints lead to 9-3, Moore netted his second of the NCAA Tournament with 6:39 to play in the third quarter. Russell took a pass in the slot and fed a no-look pass to Moore for an easy goal to give the Saints a 10-3 cushion. Willie Lapinski (Canton, NY) was only 45 seconds behind Moore in scoring his lone goal of the game, as he scorched a shot through traffic that Walsh was unable to see to up the Saint lead to 11-3.

Though the Gulls had played somewhat of a sloppy game to that point, they quickly turned up the intensity as they saw their season getting away from them. The home squad rattled off three straight goals from Patrick Gaffney (Worcester, MA), Dube, and Fahy in a 3:31 span to quickly close the gap to 11-6 with plenty of time to play. However, a costly penalty would put Endicott a man down, and Moore would make them pay with his third goal of the quarter to extend the Saints' lead to 12-6 heading into the final frame.

Trailing by six, the Gulls' attack began a furious comeback in the fourth quarter that led to four straight goals, which could've been even more had it not been for the outstanding play between the pipes for Demuth. Neither team could get any offense going early in the fourth quarter, but Endicott began making their move with 8:21 remaining in the game, as Fahy tucked a shot under the cross bar for the opening goal of the period. With the score at 12-7, the Gulls used a power play to close to within four when Ryan ripped a shot that a screened Demuth never saw at 7:36 of the fourth quarter.

With the crowd now very into the game and the momentum on its side, Endicott got a pair of goals from Dube and junior Josh Gilbert (Simsbury, CT) to cut the St. Lawrence lead to 12-10. Demuth, who had made several key saves to that point already, slammed the door shut on the Gulls, as he robbed both Fahy and Dube late in the fourth quarter on prime chances. Then, after making a save, the Jordan, NY native showed outstanding hustle by chasing after the ball to earn the Saints possession at a critical moment in the game.

With the contest very much in question, Endicott again found themselves down a player and Moore would put the game out of reach. The Saints worked the ball beautifully around the perimeter of the field on the power play, which would eventually lead to Centauro feeding Moore to Walsh's right. He fired a shot past the goaltender to complete the scoring, and seal St. Lawrence's first ever NCAA Tournament victory, 13-10.

With the victory, St. Lawrence advances to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16, where they will visit SUNY Geneseo. That game is set to start at 1:00pm on Saturday, May 13th.