Saint Lawrence vs. Clarkson
May 5, 2006
The Game Story:
May 5: The St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team flexed their muscle on Friday afternoon, showing exactly how they earned the No. 1 seed in the Liberty League Tournament with a convincing 14-5 victory over the Clarkson Golden Knights in a physical battle at North Country Field.

The Saints, who entered the game ranked 18th in the country, won their eleventh consecutive game primarily because of their outstanding defense, which kept the 2006 Liberty League Player of the Year, Brian Hanlon, in check.

Although St. Lawrence trailed 1-0 early after a goal from Bryan Johnson, the home team bounced back with a pair of goals from freshman Tyler Moore to grab a 2-1 lead with 5:13 remaining in the opening quarter. However, that first fifteen minutes was far from over as the offenses exploded in the final five minutes for five goals. After the teams exchanged goals to make the score 3-2 in favor of St. Lawrence, the Golden Knights knotted the score at 3-3 when Hanlon scored his first goal of the game at 12:18.

What looked to be a back-and-forth game quickly got away from Clarkson, as St. Lawrence score two goals to end the first quarter and grab a 5-3 lead after fifteen minutes of play. Sophomore Kevin Russell took a feed from fellow classmate Ben Prime to give St. Lawrence the lead. Junior Andy Centauro then scored with only 48 seconds to play in the quarter to give the Saints a 5-3 lead.

The momentum would only build from there for the No. 1 seed, as they used some big hits in the midfield from sophomore Ben Buskey and junior JJ Hearty to get the crowd involved and their offense on the move. The Saints scored the only five goals of the second period, expanding their lead to 10-3 at the end of the opening half. Clarkson was unable to answer goals by junior Brendan Lynch, sophomore Cory Yawger, Centauro, Prime, and junior Nick Mastine, as the Saints scored four goals in a span of 3:29 to close the opening half.

The Golden Knights would try to get something going early in the third, as they scored two of the opening three goals of the second half. Greg Gibbons scored his lone goal of the game just 1:57 into the third quarter, and Bryan Johnson netted his third of the afternoon to try and lift Clarkson back into the game. However, from there on out, it was the St. Lawrence defense that stole the show.

Hearty, Buskey, senior Brian Crowley, and junior goaltender Justin Demuth shut down Clarkson's attack with some fantastic pressure and forcing timely turnovers. The Golden Knights wouldn't score again, while the Saints tallied three more goals from Russell, Lynch, and first year student Peter Carroll to complete the scoring.

Demuth finished the afternoon with eight saves on 13 shots while earning his 11th straight win between the pipes. Freshman Greg Lamb was solid for Clarkson, making 13 saves on 27 shots. Freshman PJ Santora won 15-of-22 face-offs on the afternoon, which helped the Saints outshoot their nemesis 46-17.

The win earns the No. 1 Saints a bid into the 2006 Liberty League Championship game on Sunday afternoon against the No. 2 seeded RPI Red Hawks. The game will be played at North Country Field and is set to begin at noon. The winner of the conference title earns and automatic bid into the 2006 NCAA Tournament.